Congressman Jim Hagedorn (MN-01) issued the following statement in response to the JBS pork company’s announcement that it will be indefinitely closing its pork processing facility in Worthington:
“I remain extremely concerned for the health of packing plant employees, the livestock industry and our nation’s food supply.
“Our southern Minnesota congressional district is home to millions of hogs, thousands of livestock farmers, hundreds of modern hog farm operations and many name brand processing companies. I am worried about livestock farmers in southern Minnesota and throughout the nation. Prices are falling to historic lows and plant closures are creating excess supply of hogs with no market.
“In the last 24 hours, I have spoken with Governor Tim Walz, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen about how best to look out for the health of employees and maintain packing plant operations.
“This temporary closure is very concerning. My understanding is that JBS was abiding by CDC and CISA guidelines to protect its employees. Additionally, Minnesota state health, agriculture and labor officials had recently visited the plant and reported no violations.
“My staff and I will work with any and all to help facilitate the reopening of the JBS plant. I will also continue to monitor the operations and attend to any needs of southern Minnesota’s other meat processing facilities.
“Sustaining agriculture is critically important to maintaining our rural way of life. Protecting our food supply is a national security issue.”