Plant closures create a dire situation for pork producers

The chair of the Minnesota House Agriculture and Food, Finance and Policy Division is deeply concerned about the closures of packing plants across her state and the country.

Representative Jeanne Poppe of Austin calls it a dire situation for farmers.

“And frankly, for our food supply (as well) if we can’t reopen plants to be able to get these animals to market and be processed.”

Thousands of hogs in the region are being held back because Smithfield in Sioux Falls and JBS in Worthington are currently offline.

She tells Brownfield it is critical that processors remain open.

“So one of the things that happened recently was the increased number of testing, and the ability to test. That is something that should help to reopen the plants (and) that’s probably the biggest news and the best news.”

Governor Walz announced a breakthrough in testing this week through a partnership with Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota that he says paves the way for 20,000 molecular and 15,000 serology tests per day.

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