Ten reasons why Tyson may not be sad about the Garden City packing plant fire

  1. The plant will be forty years old next year.
  2. Excuse to break the cattle market further – Cattle futures were down the limit two days in a row.
  3. The free water from the Ogallala Aquifer is disappearing.
  4. The U.S. cattle herd continues to decline.
  5. Many workers are illegal – Lack of immigration reform is making the hiring of low-cost refugee workers more difficult. Public support for foreign wars and abusive trade policy that displaces refugees to slaughterhouse jobs is becoming less popular.
  6. Foreign beef is cheaper.
  7. Memphis Meats – Tyson’s investment in fake meat competes with their existing and aging beef plant infrastructure.
  8. Tyson can force cattle feeders to redirect cattle to other Tyson plants, increasing utilization of remaining facilities. Additional freight will be at cattle owners’ expense. Additional stress will be at the animals’ expense. With USDA’s new non-inspection rules, chain speeds can be increased at existing facilities and cleanup shifts reduced to absorb additional numbers.
  9. If Elizabeth Warren’s vision for farming and food is implemented, a breakup of Big Food’s monopoly power is possible, and the cheap grain benefitting Big Food companies will become more expensive.
  10. It’s a clear warning and lesson to cattle producers supporting R-CALF’s lawsuit against Tyson and the other big packers claiming ongoing anti-competitive practices.

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