Tyson Lobbyist Among Those Shot Outside D.C.

June 15, 2017
Matt Mika, agricultural policy expert, in critical condition.

Among those shot in yesterday's (June 14) shooting incident in Arlington, Va., was a lobbyist for Tyson Foods.

Matt Mika, a Michigan native and director of government relations for Tyson’s D.C. office, may have been the most seriously injured among the five people shot by a lone gunman as Republican members of Congress practiced for a charity baseball game.

Mika initially was reported to be in critical condition and on a respirator in the intensive care unit of George Washington University Hospital. He was shot multiple times in the chest and arm. The shooter was James Hodgkinson, an Illinois man who has a history of ranting against Republican party politics. He was shot and killed by Capitol Police officers.

Also wounded were House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Zack Barth, a legislative correspondent in the office of Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), and Capitol Police officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey.

Mika was not scheduled to play in today's game. Arkansas Online reported that, as a former baseball player, he was volunteering at the Wednesday morning practice to help the congressional team get ready for the game. The GOP team was preparing for a charity game against a Democratic squad, scheduled for Thursday.

Arkansas Online said Mika is well known and well regarded in food and agricultural policy circles. In his current role, he works on a variety of livestock concerns, ranging from issues affecting the organic sector to regulations related to fair competition in the meat industry. “Matt has worked for Tyson Foods for more than six years and we’re deeply concerned about him and his family,” Gary Mickelson, a Tyson spokesman, said in a statement.

Arkansas Online reported he started working in Washington in 2005 as a legislative assistant for former Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.). He joined the staff of Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) in 2007, serving as the congressman’s lead staffer on the House Agriculture Committee. After Walberg lost a re-election bid in 2008, Mika went to work lobbying for the North American Meat Institute. He joined Tyson Foods in 2011.

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