Iowa Responds To Plant Closures

Iowa is the top hog producing state. In the state, four processing plants have slowed down production and two have temporarily shutdown. One Tyson plant that closed its doors produces 4 percent of the states pork supply.

According to Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, about 50 thousand head of pigs have no place to be marketed, which causes more issues for farmers. Pat McGonegle, with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, stated, “I think there is getting to be more and more of, I wouldn’t call it a panic, but certainly a dire concern about what they are going to do or what decisions they are going to have to make each week.”

The state is working with meat plants to help keep workers safe and the facilities operating. They are doing this by supplying masks, checking workers’ temperatures, and installing workstation dividers. The state’s Secretary of Agriculture said that the state will not force plants to close. Naig went on to say, “We all know if you disturb that food and agriculture supply chain that means less food for consumers.”

Pork industry leaders are also asking for the Coronavirus Task Force to help with costs associated with the supply chain disruptions, like euthanizing animals, provide legal funds to help protect producers from activists, and mental health assistance.

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