Facility coming soon
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) announced a new processing option for lamb producers on Aug. 28. Double J Lamb Inc. of Texas, the newest member of Double J Meat Packing, will soon be available for producers.
In an interview with Western Ag Network, Jeff Hasbrouck, whose family runs Double J Meat Packing and Double J Lamb Feeders, said, “Lambs are getting bigger every day. With the loss of Mountain States Rosen (MSR), we felt like we had to do something for the industry.”
“In our mind, we had to make a decision. We knew we didn’t have a lot of time to get this done,” explained Hasbrouck. “Were we going to help the industry and help our customers or were we just going to sit back and see what happened?”
Fabrication capabilities a must
The Hasbrouck family, from Ault, Colo., made the decision to purchase the old Ranchers’ Lamb of Texas processing facility due to the fabrication capabilities of the plant and the recent loss of MSR to the industry. Another lamb processing facility, Colorado Lamb Processors, in Brush, Colo. is set to open in September, but will only harvest lambs.
“MSR was a harvest and fabrication facility, they could do it all,” said Hasbrouck. “The new plant coming online, Colorado Lamb Processors, can only harvest.”
“We thought this might be a little bit of an issue because of what MSR did and what we need to do going forward,” Hasbrouck continued. “We felt like we had to have the fabrication. This was the main reason we reached out to the old Ranchers’ Lamb of Texas facility and why we had to get that lamb plant up and running.”
“We looked at some other facilities,” said Hasbrouck. “We just didn’t see any other facilities with the capacity to really help the industry.”
Working to open soon
Hasbrouck shared Double J Lamb Feeders feeds out many Mountain States Co-Op members’ lambs.
“We knew how concerned they are about where they are going to get their lambs processed this year,” he said.
“We hope to have the plant up and running in two months,” said Hasbrouck. “We’re pushing through right now to get this done. The lamb industry cannot wait.”
“It hasn’t been used in quite a few years, so there’s a lot of work to do,” said Hasbrouck. The plant, located near San Angelo, Texas, closed to lamb processing in 2005.
“We will have to ramp up, so we’ll probably just be harvesting lambs at first, but will start fabricating soon after that,” Hasbrouck noted.
According to ASI, the Ranchers’ Lamb of Texas facility was built to handle 1,700 to 1,800 head per day.
“This is a bold, innovative step the Hasbrouck family is taking in looking for a new way to support the American sheep industry,” says ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick. “I think the entire industry will applaud their efforts and wish them the best of luck in this new endeavor.”
Averi Hales is the editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.