Dona Greiner is the Emergency Mnagement Director for Stevens and Big Stone Counties. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

As part of her weekly emergency management update to the Stevens County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday morning, Emergency Manager Dona Greiner talked about the effects the coronavirus is having on food sources and production. A number of meat packing facilities have had to shut down either from the rapidly shrinking markets or outbreaks of COVID-19 in their own facilities. She told the board that some local livestock farmers are talking about culling their herds.

“They’re looking at either holding them for up to three weeks, hoping that that plant will open again — we haven’t heard, it’s nothing confirmed at this time — or else euthanizing,” said Greiner. “So, that’s their next step.”

Commissioner Ron Staples wondered how they would do that if packing plants are closed. Greiner said livestock farmers are first trying to temporarily distribute the herds to other places, if they can. But there’s an increased cost for that as well.

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