Foster Farms, a California poultry farm, has urgently requested assistance from (STB) because its dairy cattle and fowl are running short of food.
Foster Farms says the “point has again been achieved where hundreds of thousands of dairy cattle aren’t being fed, and… millions of poultry may starve to death due to UP’s service failures.” The corporation cites inclement weather, Union Pacific (UP) train supply difficulties, and other causes.
A US freight rail regulator ordered UP to deliver five feed trains to Foster Farms a day after the petition was submitted. One train arrived on schedule, according to the company.
Chickens are more likely to starve than cattle since they are smaller. Foster Farms is temporarily feeding its cattle hen feed to prevent this.
UP responded to the complaint by blaming adverse weather for the delivery delays, which now include California washouts from “atmospheric rivers” and Nevada rockslides.
“Union Pacific continues to collaborate closely with Foster Farms, offering daily updates & delivering the trains indicated in the order,” a spokesperson said.
“Systemic issues” cause UP train derailments, not weather.
Since then, four of the five UP feed shipments have arrived, forcing Foster Farms to file with the STB that the problem is more than the weather.
“While Foster Farms agrees that weather had a part, it also thinks that this failure is indicative of fundamental issues within UP that will continue,” the company said. Foster Farms says weather contributed.
Union Pacific (UP) and other major train lines have been threatening a nationwide strike for some time. The failed negotiations with unions as well as the Biden administration have created a vulnerable situation that looks to be getting worse by the day.
UP delays have left three Foster Farms factories without supply since October. Foster Farms has unsuccessfully sought emergency aid twice in the last six months.
Foster Farms threatened to euthanize millions of birds in June owing to feed supply problems, according to The Wall Street Journal. Thus, the STB issued an unusual emergency service order to support the firm. This order was last issued almost 10 years ago.
The Foster family sold their investment in the company to Atlas Holdings in the same month, prompting Donnie Smith, a former Chief executive of a competitor firm, to return from retirement to lead Atlas Holdings.
“Very few options would cause me to go out of what had been a deliriously blissful retirement,” Smith remarked. “Leaving a deliriously joyful retirement was going to be tough.” “I had a pleasant retirement, but this was such an exciting and amazing opportunity for me… I couldn’t refuse.”
It’s a tragedy that California used to be the nation’s “breadbasket.” If rail lines or feed supplies fail, chickens and animals might die, leaving millions of Americans hungry. Millions of Americans depend on these animals for food.
“This is being orchestrated,” a commentator said. People began grumbling about the railroad a year after it limited agricultural fertilizer delivery. Crop yields dropped. They now concentrate on the meat.