Congressman Collin Peterson and Governor Tim Walz are in Worthington this afternoon where a major pork plant is shut down by COVID, and farmers in surrounding areas warn they’ll have to euthanize scores of hogs because processors can’t take them. State Representative Tim Miller from Prinsburg says a family farmer named Mark called him, saying he usually sends 12 to 13 hundred hogs to market per week, but now that’s effectively stopped. “Mark told me he’d like to invite legislators and the governor out to his farm to watch what it does to take to compost 350-pound hogs, several hundred at a time. No one’s gonna want to do that, but he’s gonna have to be doing that pretty soon,” Miller says.
State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm acknowledged the importance of processing plants, but said President Trump’s order to keep them open is “problematic” with explosive increases in COVID cases at processing facilities and impact on surrounding communities.
Miller asks, “If they [farmers] are rendering and composting all these hogs, what are we gonna have when this changes? …What’s gonna happen with our meat supply coming down the road soon?”