In press release from its Brazil headquarters, JBS said when it bought the Smithfield Beef Group last October, it also purchased 100 percent of Five Rivers Cattle Feeding which owns 10 feedlots, including two in Weld County and another in Yuma County.

Prior to that purchase, Five Rivers was an integrated business that operated as both feedlot and cattle owner. JBS said it evaluated the benefits and challenges of retaining that business model under JBS USA ownership, which is headquarted in Greeley.

Due to existing and future potential packer ban legislation at the state and federal level — legislation that prevents beef packers from owning cattle — JBS S.A. decided to split ownership of the cattle feeding business.

JBS made what it calls “a strategic decision” with J&F Oklahoma to split ownership of Five Rivers. J&F will own the cattle — the 10 lots have a capacity of 1.5 million head per year — and JBS USA will own the feedlots.

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