SAN ANTONIO – Declining cattle production caused by severe drought conditions in Texas forced San Antonio, Texas-based L&H Packing Company to shutter its beef processing operations and lay off 325 employees, according to local news reports.

L&H Packing will cease operations effective Aug. 15. The company produced boneless beef products, hides, offal, tallow, blood meal and meat and bone meal. The plant has the capacity to slaughter 260,000 cattle per year.

In a statement, Neal Leonard, CEO of Leonard Holding Company, said: “It was only after careful consideration and months of prayerful thought that my executive committee and I recommend this action to our board of directors. The decision was made to re-allocate our resources to our sister companies, Surlean Foods and New Earth, who are currently experiencing record growth. With US cattle inventory at its lowest since 1951, this difficult decision was made.”

Al Leonard and Dwayne Harral founded the company in 1963, according to the company's website. In 1979, Surlean Foods was formed to capitalize on the foodservice segment and further-processing market in the beef industry.