Bovina, TX - Many residents say one of the reasons Bovina is still a city is because Cargill, a large agriculture commodities company, moved its business to the area in 1968.
Cargill now has three facilities near Bovina that employ around two thousand people. About half of those employees live in Bovina.
Cargill Meat Solutions produces more than three million pounds of beef per day, and the company said it would not be possible without the people who call Bovina home.
"What makes Cargill Meat Solutions in Friona, TX close to Bovina special is that we rely on our small town, rural areas for those employees to come work here and provide and grow the middle class," said Pedro Ramos, the assistant human resources manager at the processing plant. "Without having these small, local rural areas, we don't have a Cargill Meat Solutions to staff and to have business to work with."
Bovina city officials said they share the same dependency on Cargill. "If it wasn't for Cargill, this town would be dried up," said Bovina City Manager Cesar Marquez. "We're thankful for Cargill. It all works in everyone's favor. It is one of those things, you scratch my back I'll scratch yours later."
Cargill Meat Solutions is the main employer for Bovina, but the company also has Sweet Bran and Cargill Cattle Feeders.
Sweet Bran was built just a couple years ago. It provides specialty feed for cattle across the Panhandle, including the ones at Cargill Cattle Feeders.
"So if you look at it, we make the feed, we feed them in Bovina and then they come to Friona, obviously, for harvest and to be packaged and sent all across the world, which is something we take pride in," said Ramos.
Ramos said the company also takes pride in helping the Bovina community through their Cargill Cares program. "Whether it's a burger feed at the first home football game, or providing a new scoreboard for their stadium or going back and talking (to students) about Cargill opportunities and better education opportunities for their futures."
Cargill also helps pay for college tuition so the company can keep local talent local. "They come back and we keep local talent and they stay in Bovina," said Ramos. "A lot of their family members work here and they have a bright future. So it's a great opportunity."