Chinn says protein plants are crucial

Missouri Ag Director Chris Chinn says protein plants across the state are critically needed. At Governor Mike Parson’s COVID-19 briefing Friday, Chinn said President Trump’s executive order to reopen closed meat processing plants is appropriate since the Homeland Security Department deemed agriculture as “critical infrastructure” in March.

“There are protein processors of all sizes from major companies all the way down to small mom-and-pop businesses in the state of Missouri. They all matter. They mattered before COVID-19 and they matter today.”

Chinn says workers at these plants are heroes and their health and safety will remain a priority – with the state making certain they have protective face coverings and testing.

“These facilities and the safety of their teams will be a focus for my team. It’s crucial for farmers and ranchers. It’s crucial for our economy. And, it’s crucial for your families as well.”

Chinn says there ARE bottlenecks in the food system and there will be continued market disruptions that are first felt painfully on the farm.

While she does not expect widespread food shortages, there may be localized shortages of certain protein cuts and higher prices for certain items.

And there are market corrections occurring. As of early April, Chinn says, Missouri farmers stopped dumping milk because of supply chain disruptions.

Governor Parson thanked farmers for their hard work, following Director Chinn’s remarks.

Parson is lifting the Missouri stay at home order Monday but urges citizens to practice social distancing because, he says, “the coronavirus is not gone.”

^ Director Chris Chinn ^

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