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Coronavirus
May 15
A site where euthanized hogs are disposed of in Nobles County.

Next to a vineyard in southwest Minnesota, a site for euthanized hogs

Tens of thousands of pigs have been euthanized in Minnesota in recent weeks thanks to the shutdowns of meatpacking plants after outbreaks of coronavirus among workers. The site where euthanized hogs are ground into compost in Nobles County is a wide open field across the road from a lakeside vineyard.
Coronavirus
May 9
“The hardest part of all of this is having your daughter tell you not to cry,” said Jomari de Jesus of her 8-year-old daughter Estefany. De Jesus

Testing uneven, or nonexistent, at meatpacking plants with COVID-19 outbreaks

The only guidance from the federal government has been that meat processors should "consider" tests.
Agriculture
May 9
A worker plows under 240 acres of young potatoes farmed by Mike Pink near Pasco on Friday, May 1, 2020. Pink has never plowed under any food he has gr

In French fry heartland, spring turns bitter as coronavirus cuts into global demand

The plight is another ugly impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus
May 9
Beth Ford, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, has long advocated for rural broadband access and says it is more important now than ever.

Land O'Lakes opens Wi-Fi spots to help rural broadband access

The hotspots allow students to finish homework and sick people to connect with medical facilities in a time of crisis. More important, it is a step forward for communities, says CEO Beth Ford.
Coronavirus
May 7
The Jennie-O plant in Melrose, Minn. COVID cases are surging in Stearns County, in large part due to three meat packing plants in the area.

COVID-19 outbreak in St. Cloud sparks fears of spreading virus

Increased testing among local processing plant workers has established the central Minnesota community as a COVID-19 hot zone.
Coronavirus
May 6
An American flag flies outside a Tyson meatpacking plant in Virginia.

More than 300 USDA meat inspectors sidelined by coronavirus

Some 197 are positive for the virus and another 120 are under quarantine after exposure.
Coronavirus
May 6
The Minnesota agricultural commissioner said 10,000 hogs a day are being euthanized in Minnesota.

In Minnesota, 10,000 pigs are being euthanized a day

Millions of chickens have been euthanized, too, with turkeys likely to follow suit.
Agriculture
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.