Molly Zentz, APR
(Indianapolis) – April 22, 2020 – Today, the Cass County Commissioners voted to close the Tyson pork processing facility in Logansport, Indiana. The closure is in response to a rapidly escalating number of COVID-19 cases among their workforce. Tyson has voluntarily agreed to a 14-day closure so that complete testing and tracing may occur.
In this time of extreme crisis, Indiana Farm Bureau understands that it is essential to put the health of Indiana’s residents first. In this case, closing the Tyson processing plant will cause unusual hardship on the farmers who raise livestock and depend on a reliable terminal market for animals raised for food.
“I’ve had open communication from Josh Trenary at Indiana Pork Producers Association and reached out to both Governor Holcomb and Lt. Governor Crouch. They are working together to focus the right resources on this hot spot,” said INFB President Randy Kron. “Indiana Farm Bureau is extremely concerned about the closure of the Tyson pork processing facility. This is a devastating blow to the pork producers who sell hogs to Tyson. We ask all local and state officials involved to find an innovative solution to re-open this facility.”
An interruption of processing puts the American food supply chain in jeopardy at a time when consumers are already stressed about finding empty shelves in their local grocery store. With each passing day of a plant closure the back-up of food animals becomes increasingly unmanageable and threatens the survival of many livestock farms.
Indiana farmers are dedicated to ensuring a safe, affordable and bountiful food supply. The U.S. food supply chain is designed for just-in-time delivery which requires efficiently processing agricultural production of all kinds. It is no accident that America has the safest food products in the world.
Food processing systems, no matter what is processed or what is produced, are labor intensive and rely on a skilled and healthy workforce. All measures must be taken at the plant and in the regional community of Cass County to keep workers healthy and on the job. To achieve this goal, INFB asks that the Indiana State Department of Health and the Board of Animal Health use their authority to take the lead in working with local officials and Tyson to ensure that this plant is open as soon as possible.
About Indiana Farm Bureau: For more than 100 years, Indiana Farm Bureau (INFB) has promoted agriculture in Indiana through public education, member engagement, and by advocating for agricultural and rural needs. As the state’s largest general farm organization, INFB works diligently to ensure a farmer’s right to farm—protecting the livelihood, land, equipment, animals and crops of Hoosier farmers—because agriculture is vital to Indiana’s economy. Learn more at INFB.org.