Meat processing plants in Arkansas holding strong

Arkansas has not had any of its meat packing plants shut down. The state is home to 29 USDA processing plants and has another 60 smaller facilities.

Wes Ward, the state’s Secretary of Agriculture, stated, “I don’t want to say we’ve been fortunate, because it’s been a concerted effort, but we’ve been able to operate mostly under normal conditions with our processing facilities.”

Many plants are implementing masks, temperature scanners, hands sanitizer stations, and workstation dividers. Two Tyson plants were inspected this week by state and federal health officials.

“They were very pleased with what they saw that the processing plants are utilizing...their efforts over the last couple days have reiterated that we are doing everything we can in Arkansas to make sure that facilities can continue to operate,” Ward said.

Arkansas has confirmed just over 3,000 total coronavirus cases. A majority of the states processing plants are poultry, which the state produces around 6 billion pounds annually.

For all updates on the Coronavirus and how it impacts Rural America, visit our Coronavirus outbreak hub.