Iowa Sends National Guard To Meat Packing Plants

The military trains a lot of truck drivers, and the reason is not because she has so much to drive. Rather, it is because in the event of a major crisis that shut down the trucking industry, for whatever reason, the military would step in and do the job. The purpose would be to maintain national stability.

A similar event is taking place right now as in Iowa amid the spread of COVID-19, the National Guard has been sent to meat packing plants amid their shutdown as Yahoo! Finance reports by way of Bloomberg.

Hundreds of National Guard personnel are being activated in Iowa as coronavirus sweeps through meat-processing plants in a state that accounts for about a third of U.S. pork supply.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said 250 National Guard members have been moved to full-time federal duty status and could help with testing and contact tracing for workers at plants operated by Tyson Foods Inc. and National Beef Packing Co.

Activating guard soldiers is the latest attempt to contain the disease, which has forced a growing number of slaughterhouses and meat-processing plants to slow or halt operations.

The disruptions are stoking concerns for eventual fresh-meat shortages in grocery stores as well leaving some farmers without a market for their animals. That’s pushing down prices for hogs and cattle, while making meat more expensive. Wholesale pork posted its biggest three-day gain in six years.

“At some point we’re going to have to be talking about euthanizing hogs, and we’re not that far from it,” Reynolds told reporters. “And that would be devastating, not only for the food supply but for the cost of food going forward.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $19 billion bailout to help farmers hurt by the coronavirus outbreak, including $3 billion in purchases of meat and dairy products.

On Monday, JBS SA said it was closing a pork plant in Minnesota. Governor Tim Walz had raised the possibility that some workers there may have fallen ill from another outbreak at a Smithfield Foods Inc. pork plant in South Dakota. (source)

The US is a major producer of pork, and since Iowa produces one-third of the nation’s pork, this objectively poses a potential national security hazard by not being able to provide enough food (pork) to the US population.

If this is considered to be a threat, imagine how it must be for China, which relies on pork imports as a major of sustenance and has been squeezed by the US over it, let alone soy.

Food is a vital element of public policy for any nation. The fact that the US is doing this right now means more than just a threat from a virus- it is that the situation with the virus is more serious than it seems, and Americans would not only be wise to pay attention, but also to stockpile food in preparation for harder coming times.

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