On Friday's edition of Lubbock's First News, Michael Martin, Director of Communications for Cargill Meat Solutions, talked with Tom Collins and Laura Mac about the recent closing of the Cargill Plant in Plainview.

Yesterday morning, Cargill announced that it would be closing its Plainview plant on February 1, 2013. The plant's closure was due to the prolonged drought resulting in dwindling numbers in the cattle supply and liquidation of cattle. Martin said the closing was a "painful decision" for the company, but the factors were unfortunately out of their control.

This is something that we would have preferred not to have had to do. It was a painful and difficult decision for Cargill to make, knowing that it would be affecting 2,000 employees and their families and the community in Plainview. But the reality is that there are factors the we don't control, such as the weather and the drought in Texas and the southern plains that has resulted in fewer cattle.

Martin said the Plainview plant will not be sold and will instead be "idled," in the event that cattle numbers rebound. He also said the remaining are plant in Friona will remain open, and the cattle from the Plainview plant will be relocated to that plant and other plants in the area.

Martin also said Cargill will assist the over 2,000 employees laid off by offering a job fair for employees looking to work at other Cargill locations in the area. Cargill will also be working with the Texas Workforce Commission to further assist the former employees.