Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced the launch of a Resource Coordination Center to support Iowa livestock producers affected by supply chain disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said in a statement that COVID-19 outbreaks in meat packing plants are causing them to run below normal operating capacity, which is creating challenges for producers trying to convert their livestock into food products.
“COVID-19 has disrupted every aspect of our lives, including our food supply chain,” Secretary Naig said. “This is creating numerous challenges for producers and forcing them to make unimaginable decisions. We want producers to know they’re not alone. We have assembled a team of people who are here to connect producers with information and resources as they work through this difficult time.”
The Resource Coordination Center, or RCC, is a collaboration of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and public and private partners, including the Iowa Pork Producers Association, the Iowa Pork Industry Center and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture says the RCC will help livestock producers explore every option to harvest livestock, and will connect them with technical resources while they work through difficult and emotional decisions, including animal welfare euthanasia and disposal.
Livestock producers in Iowa can call the RCC at (515) 725-1005, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or fill out a help form anytime at iowafarmerhelp.com.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture also encourages livestock producers to call the Iowa Concern Hotline at 1-800-447-1985 at any time if they are feeling overwhelmed.
Read the entire news release here.