FARGO, ND – North Dakota Natural Beef LLC announced it will shut down its beef and bison processing operations and layoff its workforce immediately.

The closure came after the company’s largest customer completed a beef slaughter and processing plant expansion at a facility in Buffalo Lake, Minn., according to Dieter Pape, president and chief executive officer.

North Dakota Natural Beef had experienced some difficulties recently. In April, the US Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), penalized the North American Bison Cooperative and North Dakota Natural Beef for failing to pay, when due, the full purchase price of livestock.

North Dakota Natural Beef is associated with the bison cooperative, which has a bison and beef slaughter plant in New Rockford, ND. However, Pape said the closure would not impact the bison cooperative. In fact, the North American Bison Cooperative obtained additional supplies of bison and that business is growing, Pape said. The bison business is hiring to accommodate the growth.