Jennie-O lays off 233 workers in Minnesota due to bird flu

Farm Forum

FARIBAULT, Minn. (AP) — Jennie-O Turkey Store says it’s laying off 233 employees at its processing plant in the southern Minnesota city of Faribault because of bird flu outbreaks that have cut the number of available turkeys.

In a statement on May 5, the country’s second-largest turkey processor said the Faribault plant will switch to a single shift for the foreseeable future. But plant manager Randy Vergin says the layoffs will be temporary, and that the company intends to recall everyone to work when turkey supplies return to normal levels.

Willmar-based Jennie-O is a division of Austin-based Hormel Foods Corp. The company has been hard hit by the outbreaks, which have affected over 40 company-owned or contract farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin.