Sort & Cull

A Walk Down Memory Lane: Holcomb Packing Plant Fire

ShayLe Stewart
By  ShayLe Stewart , DTN Livestock Analyst
August 9 was the one-year anniversary of the 2019 Tyson packing plant fire in Holcomb, Kansas. Looking back, little did we know how much of a roller-coaster ride the next year would entail. Through a matter of 12 months, producers have endured historic challenges and have shown time and time again their commitment to the industry. (Photo by Becky Mills)

It's hard to believe it has been a year since Tyson's packing plant fire in Holcomb, Kansas. Looking back, I remember the market being in utter hysteria, wondering how the fat cattle market was going to stay current with a sizeable plant shutdown? Cow-calf producers feared how the upcoming fall run would be received. And more than anything, the market was saturated with unanswered questions and no knowledge of when those questions would be answered.

In hindsight, Tyson's packing-plant fire was only a precursor for what 2020 would put the market through. There are still so many unanswered questions and looming concerns that only time can honestly unveil. These challenges aren't foreign to anyone, as all producers have been through the wringer, but stepping back and realizing how committed and relentless cattlemen truly are isn't something I want producers to go without hearing.

Cattlemen are the some of the most selfless and dedicated servants that God bestowed on this earth. Though we all wish we could be talking about these problems in a past tense setting, we are constantly reminded the battle isn't over. Thankfully, this isn't the cattle market's end destination -- better times await us.

To hear a recap of last week's cattle market happenings, check out the latest Cattle Market News update on the DTN/Progressive Farmer Facebook Page, or click the link below:…

ShayLe Stewart can be reached at


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