Another area employer closes doors
By Nathan French
It has been said many times that “when it rains, it pours.” That undeniable saying seems fitting to the conundrum of the downturn in the economy and how it has affected local business. While many businesses are still managing and a few are even prospering, several businesses have fallen prey to an ever declining market. With the imposing closing of Premium Standard Farms, cutbacks at several local businesses, and most recently the closing of Clayton Cattle Feeders it does seem that the rain has turned into a downpour.
Clayton Cattle Feeders of Clayton, New Mexico, served as a major employer for the greater Clayton area. Clayton Cattle Feeders, Inc. is a private company categorized under Livestock Feeding and records state that it was established in 1969 and incorporated in New Mexico. Current estimates show that Clayton Cattle Feeders has had an annual revenue of around $2.5 million and employed a staff of approximately 28. Unfortunately, a turn in market returns and rising costs related to the feedlot industry without a match in returns has played a big part in the downfall of Clayton Cattle Feeders. In addition, Double A Feeders and Union County Feeders, sister companies of Clayton Cattle Feeders, are also in the process of ceasing operations. Total job losses from the three closings are estimated to be around 100.
Premium Standard Farms is also ceasing operations with another round of layoffs announced last Monday and layoffs are likely to continue through the end of the year with sow productions coming to a close. Other businesses in the locale have also been forced to restructure business activities in regards to employee hiring, employee retention, and budgeting issues.
Even though our local economic climate has faced some recent blows, it does not mean that the Dalhart area is in an economic torrential downpour. As Greg Duggan, Dalhart City Manager stated, “While we hate to see employers go, several Dalhart area employers still have an employee deficit.” The Dalhart Prison Unit currently has about 70 career vacancies, Hilmar Cheese Factory is currently hiring, and the Dalhart Chamber of Commerce has a listing of around 20 other employers that are currently seeking employees.
While the loss of jobs can be catastrophic, many of the cut jobs can be absorbed by currently unfilled positions available in the greater Dalhart area. It is unfortunate that Dalhart has lost these employers, but our locales local resources at least offer hope that this downpour will stop and blue skies are near.