Governor says JBS plant in Ottumwa close to full production after cyber attack

RADIO IOWA NEWS – All regular shifts are on Thursday at the JBS meatpacking plant in Marshalltown that had some production disrupted this week after a company-wide cyber attack.

However, the slaughtering operation at the JBS plant in Ottumwa will start two hours late Thursday and some meat cutting operations are cancelled. All bacon-related departments at the Ottumwa plant will operate at regular times.

Governor Kim Reynolds has talked with the managers of both plants and earlier this afternoon she told reporters it sounds like JBS has resolved most of its IT issues.

“You know those are the two largest processing plants in the country. They run 20,000 hogs through there a day and so I was hoping that we wouldn’t be facing some of the similar situation that we did with Covid, when they were shutting down the processing plants and we had livestock backing up on farms all across the state and so it sounds like they’ve got it taken care of,” Reynolds said after an event in Lake View. “It sounds like Marshalltown is back online. It sounds like Otumwa is close to coming back on.”

Reynolds said the ransomware attack on JBS and last month’s shutdown of a major gas pipeline highlight the need for a federal response.

“I know the president has talked about doing that,” Reynolds said, “…to get in front of it, to do what we can to prevent these cyber attacks.”

Iowa State University livestock economist Lee Schultz said JBS can make up for a few days of lost production and consumers won’t experience meat shortages at the grocery store. JBS plants process about 20 percent of the cattle and hogs raised in the U.S.

(Nathan Konz, KCIM, Carroll contributed to this story.)

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