Source: Journal Sentinel
On July 24, 2004 The Journal Sentinel reported, "In less than a decade, a river of refugees from Somalia has flowed into Barron [Wisconsin], lured by good-paying meat packing jobs at the Jennie-O Turkey plant, the city's largest employer. Today, 12% of Barron's population is from Somalia... The first Somali refugees began showing up in Barron about eight years ago to fill jobs at Jennie-O. Today, Somalis account for about 200 of the plant's 1,250 workers, earning wages that start at $9.25 an hour for cutting, blending and packaging meat... The city's transformation can be seen in the Somali women dressed in traditional veil-like hijabs sitting at library computers and scanning online newspapers for reports from their homeland... The Somalis are Muslim, and because there were no mosques in Barron, many drove to the Twin Cities for worship."