The business, which operated in Missouri for the past three years, boasted a more sustainable production of beef with a small supply chain to reduce carbon footprint. It employed 80 people across the company.
In a statement on social media, Valley Oaks explained how it had become a “lightning rod for individuals and organizations opposed to animal agriculture operations” once it applied for a permit to increase its capacity from 900 cattle.
It said: “We are closing Valley Oaks Steak Company effective immediately. We would like to thank our customers and the people who supported us over the past few years. We would also like to thank our employees and vendors who worked with us. We would like to thank the many local farmers who availed themselves of free fertilizer. We regret the impact this closing will have on all of them, and for the loss of jobs in rural Missouri – jobs that are already in short supply.”
The statement also outlined some of the alleged abuse levelled at Valley Oaks. “In our view, opponents engaged in fear-mongering for their own economic benefit, or simply pre-judged Valley Oaks based on inaccurate information.
“Instead of examining the science and visiting our facility to see the reality for themselves, we and our families were made the subject of relentless personal attacks. Valley Oaks is not a large faceless corporation with unknown and distant directors and shareholders, but is a group of local family members who sought to provide regionally and sustainably-produced beef to the public. Unfortunately, we have been stalked, threatened, and slandered. Our children have been targeted, bullied and threatened. Several of our cattle were shot dead in the field, no doubt as a warning to us.”