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Brawley Beef plant begins operations

December 19, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — Operations at the beef-processing plant here started Tuesday with more than 150 employees working, plant officials said.

By Monday more than 300 employees should be working at the plant as the facility moves toward hiring some 600 workers — most from the Imperial Valley.

"We're taking it very, very slow," said Greg Beck, president and chief operating officer of Brawley Beef LLC, the company that built and is running the facility.

Beck said Tuesday about 40 cattle were "harvested" at the facility. He said next week the processing half of the plant will be brought on line, meaning the facility will handle more cattle. Eventually, the plant will be harvesting and processing about 1,600 cattle per day.

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It has taken a year to build the plant, which was constructed on a 100 acres in the northeast Brawley off Shank Road.

Brawley Beef is made up of several partners — all involved in the cattle industry — from the Imperial Valley and Yuma.

The plant in Brawley is the first new beef-processing plant built in the nation in 20 years.

Officials have said they hope in coming weeks to have all 600 employees in place and the plant moving toward full operations.

"It's rolling," Beck said.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4081.

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