Republican State Senator Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake told the KMRS Legislator’s Corner program that on top of the stress of worrying about COVID-19, farmers have to worry about dwindling markets. He noted that one meat packing plant has already closed in Minnesota, and 75 percent of the bacon sold in the state goes to schools and restaurants, both segments which are closed right now.
“There’s getting to be a lot of concern for lack of markets for ag products, especially food,” said Westrom. “So we’ve gotten word that an egg plant in Wisconsin that supplies many of our restaurants in Minnesota has closed down because of inability to get their products sold and used. And so they are informing all of their farmers that they won’t be able to take their eggs anymore.”
The pork market is also in trouble, with many pork chops also sold in restaurants that are temporarily shuttered. Westrom said dealing with the pandemic may modify how we eat at restaurants in the future. He said legislators will continue to keep an eye on the situation.