Torrington Braces for Sugar Plant Losses


by Brendan Meyer, Casper Star-Tribune

TORRINGTON — There’s no avoiding the large white building in Torrington. Its silos stand tall, visible in every direction for miles.

This is the sugar beet factory, has been since 1926. Back then, it was owned by Holly Sugar Corporation. Today, it’s owned by Western Sugar Cooperative. The building is a staple in this small town with less than 7,000 people, supplying more than 75 full-time jobs and more than 250 part-time positions.

Soon, that will change.

Western Sugar Cooperative announced last week it will shut down operations at the Torrington facility in 15 to 24 months.

“Just devastating,” said Torrington Mayor Mike Varney, who learned the news via email early last week. “Where do those (workers) go? Do they go unemployed? Do they retire? Do they move to (another sugar beet plant)? If that happens, they move out of town. It can affect the schools. It will affect the county.”

Western Sugar Cooperative is based in Denver. The company is shutting down beet slicing sugar production at the Torrington plant, and will expand facilities in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and Fort Morgan, Colorado.

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Source:  Casper Star-Tribune

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