Pork exec gives $25K to Iowa governor; company got virus aid

Iowa News

FILE- In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds updates the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak during a news conference in Johnston, Iowa. Reynolds’ administration is using $10 million in federal pandemic relief funds to pay the salaries of state police officers, who have played only a small role in Iowa’s virus response. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An owner of a large pork production company that disproportionately benefited from an Iowa coronavirus aid program donated $25,000 to Gov. Kim Reynolds’ campaign last month.

Mary Ann Christensen is a board member of Christensen Farms, one of the nation’s largest family-owned pork producers.

The $25,000 campaign donation she gave Reynolds was among the largest that Reynolds received in 2020 and far more than the $1,000 that Christensen gave the governor in 2017.

Christensen Farms received $1.86 million in 2020 through the Iowa Disposal Assistance Program, which was 72% of the pandemic aid awarded in its first rounds.

The program reimbursed farmers who euthanized their hogs after COVID-19 disrupted their supply chain.

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