President Trump has signed an executive order that will keep meat processing plants open. USDA will be tasked with ensuring America’s meat and poultry processors continue operations.
Congressman Jim Baird, a Republican representing Indiana’s 4th District, which includes Logansport’s Tyson Foods plant and Delphi’s Indiana Packers plant, agrees with the president’s order.
“The urgency is for every day that those plants aren’t open and we’re not processing those products, there’s 15,000 hogs stacking up. When you take both places together, you’re talking about 30,000 or better a day.”
Many on social media have suggested that the order is insensitive to employee health for the workers at these plants. Baird says the order actually does a lot to protect those healthy employees that will be working by providing more personal protective equipment, or PPE. He also believes many of these plants will operate at a half-rate to spread employees out more.
“These packing companies have also put in protective equipment, plastic dividers, and are working with the Indiana Department of Health, Dr. Bret Marsh our state veterinarian, Bruce Kettler (Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture), and our Lieutenant Governor to try and resolve getting these plants back open.”
In a release Tuesday, Indiana Packers said they would be testing all employees beginning today in hopes of reopening soon. Tyson in Logansport has already tested all of their employees.