Tyson Fresh Meats, the Lexington, Neb.-based beef and pork unit of Tyson Foods, Inc., Omaha, Neb., announced plans to cease beef operations at its Denison, Iowa, plant, effective immediately, to better align its overall production capacity with current cattle supplies. This move will affect approximately 400 employees.

“This was a very difficult decision because it affects the lives of our people, their families and a community that has supported this plant for more than 50 years,” says Steve Stouffer, president of Tyson Fresh Meats. “However, the realities of the beef business have changed, and we must continue to change with it to remain successful.  

“The cattle supply is tight and there’s an excess of beef production capacity in the region,” he adds. “We believe the move to cease beef operations at Denison will put the rest of our beef business in a better position for future success.” 

The byproduct rendering system at the Denison plant will continue operations. It will process byproducts from other Tyson locations and will employ approximately 20 people.

The Denison beef plant has a long, rich history in the meat industry. It opened in 1961 as the first plant operated by Iowa Beef Packers (IBP), a startup company that grew to become a leading beef processor. IBP was acquired by Tyson Foods in 2001 and renamed Tyson Fresh Meats.