It has been nearly three weeks since the last reported case of the bird flu in Minnesota. But the state has been hit hard since the outbreak began in March. About nine million turkeys and more than 100 farms have been lost.
Rembrandt Enterprises is laying off nearly 40 full-time employees, for now. The virus hit its egg-laying plant in Renville earlier this month and forced them to put down more than 2 million chickens.
Losses due to the bird flu in Minnesota are now estimated at more than $300-million dollars. It’s not just turkey farmers that are affected, the bird flu has created a trickle-down effect. It’s even impacted a wood-recycling company in Faribault.
Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken were in Willmar Saturday to meet with emergency responders and poultry producers and talk about the ongoing response to the virus in Minnesota.
Authorities say all remaining turkeys on a large Jennie-O Turkey Store farm in Meeker County of central Minnesota will be destroyed due to a bird flu outbreak.
An Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspector is trying to determine whether any federal safety violations occurred at the Jennie-O turkey processing plant in Willmar where more than a dozen employees were sickened.
Investigators in Willmar say they may never know what caused a mass illness inside a Jennie-O turkey plant.
As many as 30 people were taken to the hospital Friday night from the Jennie-O plant in Willmar.
A worker at a Jennie-O Turkey Store plant in central Minnesota has tested positive for tuberculosis. A spokesman for Jennie-O’s parent company, Hormel Foods Corp., says the Stearns County Public Health Department informed the Melrose plant on Monday that a worker had tested positive for TB.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, the nation’s top turkey producer is coming up a little short. Butterball, based out of North Carolina, told retailers that orders for fresh 16-pound turkeys and larger have been cut in half. The shortage is nationwide. Woody Hunt, manager of Rainbow Foods in St. Louis Park, says 40 years ago, Butterball was like the “Cadillac of turkeys.” “Everybody wanted a Butterball, and if you didn’t have a Butterball on your table you couldn’t brag to your neighbors that you had the best turkey,” Hunt said.
Hormel Foods Corp. said Thursday its net income edged up as higher sales of Spam and Hormel chili and other products helped offset higher costs for grain and for commodity costs in its Jennie-O Turkey segment.
Continued strong sales of Spam and Jennie-O products helped Hormel Foods as its net income climbed 13 percent in its fourth fiscal quarter. The Austin, Minn., company also increased its annual dividend by 13 percent to 68 cents per share.
Family members say there are many surgeries yet to come, but the prognosis for a northwestern Wisconsin man whose left arm was reattached looks promising.
Jennie-O Turkey Store in Willmar is recalling nearly 55,000 pounds of frozen, raw turkey burgers that it says were sold at Sam’s Club Stores nationwide.
Hormel Foods Corp. says stronger sales drove its first-quarter net income up 34 percent, and it raised its full-year outlook.