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More than 2,600 Cargill employees are still hard at work to ensure that Dodge City residents are fed and stores are stocked.

The emphasis of Dodge City as a central network for the food system is reflected by the work of local farmers and ranchers, retail workers, manufacturing and other food service companies and transportation services.

Recently, Cargill and National Beef in Dodge City confirmed employees had tested positive for the coronavirus and to prioritize safe business operations they have implemented measures that include temperature testing, increased sanitation practices, restricting visitor access and offering staggered breaks and shift flexibility to employees.

According to Cargill, employees are encouraged to use face coverings that are provided to them.

With food manufacturing categorized as an essential service, employees working in the industry are on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.

In recognition of the risk, Cargill is providing its employees temporary pay incentives and waiving co-pays for testing for the coronavirus.

“We’re working every day to keep people safe and dinner on the table,” said Jamin Phipps, Cargill’s Dodge City general manager. “That means keeping our plant open, giving back to the community and making sure our local economy stays strong.”

Cargill is joined in its efforts to uplift the economy by nonprofit partners Action for Healthy Kids, the American Farmland Trust — Farmer Relief Fund, and the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund as they support local food banks and other social organizations with both food and financial donations.

“We are inspired by the tireless work of Dodge City’s doctors, nurses, first responders, workers and those in agriculture who are making sure people and animals are cared for and no one goes hungry,” said Phipps. “Together we are going to overcome this crisis and come out of this even more connected.”