New release from Christensen Farms.

Editor’s note: Christensen Farms provided the following in response to the Herald-Dispatch’s questions about the current problems at pork processing plants.

Our dedicated team at Christensen Farms remains committed to the care and well-being of our pigs, our people, the environment, producing safe food and supporting our communities.

With the continued slowdown and closures of many of U.S. pork processing plants across the Midwest affected by COVID-19, producers are faced with making unfathomable and heartbreaking decisions to sacrifice market-ready pigs that plants are unable take. Our company, like many others in the pork industry, is not immune to the disruptions. These are extremely difficult decisions to make but are necessary to protect the health and safety of the plant workers and prevent suffering of animals as pig size and inventory both continue to grow.

While our company has taken all other measures in hopes to avoid this juncture, we, like many other producers in the swine industry, will be forced to depopulate market-ready pigs. The extent of the impact to our company is entirely dependent on processers resuming operations and working through the backlog of inventory of pigs on farms.

Our purpose has never been more critical than now with unemployment skyrocketing and people needing access to safe, nutritious, affordable food. The impacts of COVID-19 span greatly in society, and for livestock producers whose purpose is to provide food and other human needs, it’s devastating. We are grateful for the guidance from our county and state regulators and government officials, the dedication and commitment of our employees and contract partners and to all the other essential workers providing service to our communities.

Christensen Farms is one of the largest, family-owned pork producers in the United States, marketing approximately 3 million hogs per year. Headquartered in Sleepy Eye, the company operates throughout the Midwest with facilities in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois and South Dakota. Christensen Farms is the largest shareholder of Triumph Foods LLC, a producer-owned primary pork processing plant in St. Joseph, Missouri. Triumph Foods own 50% of Daily’s Premium Meats, a specialty pork processor of bacon and other premium pork products. Triumph Foods also holds a 50% partnership in Seaboard Triumph Foods, LLC of Sioux City, Iowa, a primary pork processing plant.