Pet food company to open in Clovis

CNJ staff

A pet food company based in Waco, Texas, will open a cattle-processing plant in Clovis that will initially employ five or six people, company officials said Wednesday.

Champion Pet Food Inc. of Waco is moving into the former New Mexico Processing plant at 802 S. Hull, which closed this summer.

Officials said they expect the plant will open on Monday.
“We will process down and dead cows from the dairies and turn all that lovely stuff into pet food,” said Rick Bauer, a spokesman for Champion Pet Food. Bauer said plant officials will also test for mad-cow disease before processing the cattle.

The pet food is made in Waco, Bauer said.
J.D. Ruthardt, the Clovis plant’s manager, said Clovis employees will skin the cattle and ship the remains to various locations.

Ruthardt, who lives in Muleshoe, said most of the area’s dead dairy cows end up in Hereford, Texas, now. He said there are plenty to keep both sites busy.

“In a 60-mile radius of this plant (in Clovis), we have 200,000-plus head in the dairies,” Ruthardt said. “Talking with the dairymen, they say they have a 4 to 8 percent loss a year.”

Ruthardt said he’s taking applications for jobs and those interested can call him at (806) 946-6603.
He said the plant hopes to employ as many as 15 or 16 people as it grows.