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Arizona Feedlot Named Part Of $1.8 Billion Asset Sale

The world’s largest meat packer is selling off $1.8 billion in assets to pay fines associated with fraud charges. In Arizona, that includes the McElhaney Cattle Company, a feedlot in Wellton, Arizona, one of only four in the state.

JBS owns feedlots and packing houses in Europe, Brazil and across the United States.

JBS is a Brazilian company and owns Five Rivers, the the nation’s largest cattle feeding company and accounts for about 10 percent of U.S. supply.

McElhaney will be sold to pay off part of the JBS fines.

Dan Faulkner, extension beef specialist and the beef quality assurance coordinator for Arizona, said the activity is not cause for panic and has minimal impact to consumers.

"We have a lot of excess capacity in the feedlot and packing industry right now. There’s certainly the opportunity for other people to step in if there’s a void to fill. So, it’s really not a situation where we’re going to create a problem or a shortage of beef or have any problems with all of this,” Faulkner said.

Faulkner said beef prices should remain stable.

“The market settled down pretty quickly.  And I think the impact is going to be pretty minimal. It will just mean that the cattle feeding operation will probably be sold into some other company.”

Faulkner believes a new buyer for the Arizona feedlot will be found fairly quickly and all operations are expected to continue without interruption.

Heather van Blokland was a host at KJZZ from 2016 to 2021.