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May 4
The JBS Worthington Pork Plant, which closed on April 21 and partially reopened last week, will fully reopen on Wednesday. The plant was cleaned after

JBS to reopen Worthington pork plant, Smithfield opening in Sioux Falls

Worthington, Sioux Falls processors contending with high absenteeism.
Coronavirus
May 1
Cargill is fighting union pushback on its plan to open a huge beef processing plant in Alberta.

Union fighting reopening of huge Cargill beef plant in Canada

The Alberta plant processes 40% of beef in Canada.
Coronavirus
April 30
A small crew at the JBS Worthington Pork Plant began to euthanize pigs Wednesday without processing them into food products. The move is designed to h

JBS reopens Worthington plant to kill pigs without processing them

Minnesota's biggest pork processing plant reopened for grim duty: killing pigs without turning them into food. The job will help farmers who are contending with barns that are full and crowded by new pigs being born every day.
Coronavirus
April 28
Workers enter a temperature-taking station at the JBS pork plant in Marshalltown, Iowa, on Monday, April 27.

While JBS limits work in Worthington, plant in small Iowa town still runs

The pork plant in Marshalltown is the same size as Worthington's but has stayed open despite its few dozen virus cases.
Agriculture
April 25
A group of young pigs at Derrydale Farm in Belle Plaine reminded farmer Kevin Stuedemann that it was their feeding time. The COVID-19 pandemic could s

For pork farmers, the emergency is now. For bacon lovers, it's coming soon

Nearly every day for two weeks, at least one sizable pork-processing plant shut down after the new coronavirus ripped through its workforce. Now plants that process about 25% of U.S. pork are closed. Consumers in early May should see the effects.
Coronavirus
April 25
Farmer Greg Boerboom is warehousing hogs that would have gone to the closed Smithfield Farms plant in Sioux Falls until he can find another market. (E

Minn. farmers trying to save livelihoods, find markets for hogs

With processing plants closed because of COVID-19, farmers trying to avoid euthanizing them.
Coronavirus
April 24
Jennie-O Turkey Store is temporarily closing its two Willmar plants. Shown is Jennie-O's headquarters.

Jennie-O closes 2 Willmar turkey plants after 14 workers test positive for virus

Hormel-owned Jennie-O Turkey Store "out of an abundance of caution" will temporarily close its two Willmar plants. It did not say for how long.
Coronavirus
April 21
Kerry and Barb Mergen outside their now empty chicken house with a straggler who managed to elude the crew that came in on April 9 to euthanize the ot

Egg demand shifted, and 61,000 Minnesota chickens euthanized

Demand for eggs in grocery stores is high and the price of a dozen eggs has risen. But much of the egg production system is built to provide fluid eggs to food service companies.
Agriculture
April 18
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, right, speaks as President Donald Trump looks on during the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task

Feds announce $19 billion aid plan for U.S. farmers, food industry

The USDA is taking a new approach to deal with COVID-19 and will spend money with regional and local distributors hit hard by closures.
Coronavirus
April 17
At least one worker at Worthington pork producer JBS has contracted COVID-19.

19 virus cases confirmed at pork plant in Worthington

Nineteen cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at the JBS pork plant in Worthington, the union representing workers there said, the latest in a series of meatpacking plants that has become a cluster of the coronavirus in rural communities across the country.
Coronavirus
April 16
Mike Stevenson flipped his barber shop sign to closed after learning state regulators had clarified that hair and nail salons, spas and other similar

Job losses hitting nearly 20% of Minnesota workers

The stats are a clear sign that the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus is the worst since the Great Depression.
Coronavirus
April 14
Workers loaded eggs for packaging at Wilcox Family Farms in Roy, Wash., last week. Across the country, supplies are mismatched with demand and farmers

An egg paradox: As demand soars, a Minnesota egg plant has shut down

Egg producers who serve restaurants can't quickly pivot to supply grocery stores.
Coronavirus
April 14
The JBS pork processing facility in Worthington, Minn., the nation’s third-largest and shown here in a file photo, is running at full strength. The

Sioux Falls plant closing is risk to pork supply, but plenty of others are open

Smithfield Foods Inc. on Sunday said its Sioux Falls plant, shuttered last Thursday initially for three days, would remain closed after a count of COVID-19 cases among its 3,700 workers jumped from 80 to nearly 300.
Coronavirus
April 12
The National Milk Producers have asked the government to purchase milk for food banks and eliminate milk restrictions in the WIC program through 2020.

Minnesota dairies are suffering too, but haven't dumped milk yet

An initial surge of pandemic-driven milk-buying at grocery stores has subsided and consumption has gone back to normal.
April 11
Even as millions of Americans are out of work and hurting financially, farmers are destroying staggering amounts of food.

Food waste of the pandemic: Dumped milk, smashed eggs

In Wisconsin and Ohio, farmers are dumping thousands of gallons of fresh milk into lagoons and manure pits. An Idaho farmer has dug huge ditches…
April 10

Surplus of chicken wings follows March Madness cancellation

The meat market just missed another holiday: March Madness.The NCAA basketball tournament is the second of two annual festivals for chicken wings (the first is…
Coronavirus
April 10
Smithfield said it will close its giant pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, S.D., shown in a photo taken Wednesday, where health officials reported

Crucial processor of Minnesota pork closes over COVID-19

The closing of the Sioux Falls plant, which slaughters a sizable number of hogs from Minnesota and supplies meat throughout the country, shows the growing tension between public health and sustaining the food supply chain.
April 9
Shoppers are clamoring for extra cartons of eggs as they aim to limit grocery runs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Egg prices right now perfect example of supply, demand, experts say

Prices rise and might stay higher for some time.
Coronavirus
April 8
Bacon is routinely on sale in Minnesota grocery stores these days as the coronavirus-related shutdown of restaurants is creating an oversupply in the

With restaurants closed, a bacon backup is building in Minn. and hog prices are plunging

About two-thirds of bacon sales happened in restaurants and hog farmers are suddenly losing money.
Agriculture
April 7
Layoffs at manufacturers have accelerated as the pandemic shutdown moved into its fourth week in Minnesota. File photo of a worker at Code Welding in

Job losses in manufacturing show breadth of downturn in Minnesota

A sign-maker in Brooklyn Park permanently laid off 178 employees. An optical-glass company mothballed a factory in Faribault. Polaris shut down plants worldwide, including in…