How one Minnesota chicken producer kept the bird flu out

Gold’n Plump executives say they were partly just lucky their Minnesota operations were not ravaged by avian flu and that chickens, their stock-in-trade, aren’t as susceptible to the virus as turkeys.

But there was more than good fortune at play last spring. As avian flu swept across the state, St. Cloud-based Gold’n Plump managed to keep every one of its hundreds of central Minnesota chicken barns virus-free.

A deeper look shows the company survived by sweating the small, but crucial details of biosecurity — constant cleaning and constant communication with workers — even as the virus infected the barns of other producers just a few miles away.

They’re sharing their story now, hoping it offers lessons on defense should the virulent H5N2 strain returns. Poultry producers as far away as North Carolina are taking notice.


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Photo Credit: M. Kemp (Rubberball/Getty Images)