The Smithfield Foods facility in Monmouth is ready to resume operations as early as this weekend, according to Jennifer Tirey with the Illinois Pork Producers Association.

“It looks like Smithfield is going to start with a smaller reduced run even as early as this Saturday,” she said during a visit with RFD Radio. “And I’m already hearing from producers in our state that they’re getting calls to ship hogs next week so that is a very good sign.”

The resumption of operations follows President Donald Trump’s executive order earlier this week intended to keep meat packing plants running across the country.

The Monmouth plant stopped work Monday in response to a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility. Smithfield employs 1,700 at its Warren County operation.

“I want to remind everyone that the first important thing is keeping the workforce healthy and safe and we appreciate those frontline workers,” Tirey said. “But this executive order puts the priority at the packing plant level to make sure all those plants get the PPE’s (personal protective equipment) and resources they need for employees so that they can be safe in their work environment.”