Pandemic takes heavy emotional toll on pork producers


Pandemic takes heavy emotional toll on pork producers

It’s difficult to quantify the emotional toll on pork producers who depopulated healthy pigs because of packing plant shutdowns.

Minnesota Pork CEO David Preisler tells Brownfield he’s concerned that aspect of the pandemic is being underestimated.

“I’d say there were more put down in Minnesota than probably any other state just because of what occurred with the length of the closures here. And farmers are wired to save pigs, and they are wired to care for them and provide good, quality care. Both farmers and their employees.”

He says there was no safety net for this unprecedented series of events.

“So not just the emotional side, but then you couple in the financial side of having no sort of an insurance program or compensation program, or that sort of thing added into it. It got to be really very, very difficult for people.”

Preisler says pork producers haven’t had to put down any animals due to problems at packing plants for several weeks, but he is worried about a spike in COVID cases this fall leading to more disruptions.