Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) placed a call to the White House last week. President Trump returned the call that same day and Moran pressed the president on the devastation growing in the meat packing industry that was overflowing downstream to Kansas farmers and ranchers. President Trump took action Tuesday, designating packing plants as essential businesses and ordering them to stay open.
"We have the President's attention and I appreciate him making this declaration," Moran told Farm Journal Editor Clinton Griffiths on Farm Journal Live. "It is important. We have large packing plants in Kansas, and we employ about 18,000 workers here in that regard, about $10 billion in economic activity, and about a fourth of the livestock on the beef side of the livestock industry is packed here in our state."
Experts from the Centers for Disease Control have been on-site at packing plants in Kansas evaluating worker protections from coronavirus, according to Moran, and virus testing has been prioritized for counties that have livestock processors.
Watch the recording of Farm Journal Live in the player above for Sen. Moran's full analysis of the order to keep packing plants open and further commentary from Drovers Editor Greg Henderson and Farm Journal Pork Editor Jennifer Shike.