YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Farmers, ranchers working amid coronavirus concerns
By Gary Joiner
Efforts to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. have disrupted some of our most basic businesses and services. From grocery stores to schools to churches and to even stock shows and rodeos, the list is long. The impacts and hardships are real.
What has not slowed is the work of U.S. agriculture. America’s farmers and ranchers continue to care for their crops and their animals. They’re working to make sure our country has food, fiber and fuel. And they’re adjusting their businesses to clear any hurdles created by our nation’s response to the virus.
Farmers and ranchers are checking inventory. Is there an adequate supply of materials on their farm or ranch to withstand two to three months of disruption? Some are stocking up on inputs just in case there are delays in the production or delivery of these critical items.
They are developing contingency plans for interruptions in daily operations. Is access to markets and points of sale closed or disrupted? Farmers and ranchers are pursuing options so their products can reach the market in a timely manner. This is particularly important for livestock owners.
Farmers and ranchers are also protecting themselves and their employees. They’re following the same precautions that all of us are practicing during this emergency period. Aggressive and proactive measures are key to flattening the curve of the virus.
It’s important to note that the Global Health Security Index prepared by Johns Hopkins University shows the U.S. is the most prepared nation to deal with a pandemic.
There’s no doubt that our nation’s farmers and ranchers are uniquely prepared to keep working the land and raising their livestock during this unprecedented time.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
You may read this week’s editorial above or listen to the audio version.
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