With the shutdown this week of Tyson Foods’ largest pork plant, hog producers in the state are growing more anxious.

Greg Hora, president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, says the Waterloo Tyson plant employs almost 3,000 workers, and plant closures elsewhere in the state are taking a toll on multiple fronts.

“With Eagle Grove and Prestage Foods, there’s about 65 loads of pigs that come in to Prestage every day if they’re running 10,000 pigs a day,” Hora says. “At Waterloo, 20,000 pigs a day, that’s a big impact on a lot of people’s jobs, on the farm and within the plant itself.”

The pandemic has forced practically everyone to make drastic changes in their lives and Hora says it will likely bring at minimum a slowdown in the normal summer activities for pork producers — and their operations’ bottom lines. “I know that there’s already discussion happening about county fairs and the state fair and what’s going on and what may not go on this summer,” he says, “and that includes some of our grilling.”

Officials with the Iowa State Fair and the Association of Iowa Fairs say they’re taking a wait-and-see stance for the moment until a new decision come’s from the governor’s office.

(By Rob Jones, Alpha Media Fort Dodge)