As the world begins to cancel social engagements, limit hospital visits, and send kids home from school—farmers keep farming.
As people rush to grocery stores to stock up on toilet paper, Lysol, and baby wipes—farmers keep farming.
As parents try to explain why play dates are canceled, comfort seniors who had their last year torn from them, and increase their internet speed to accommodate college students returning home—farmers keep farming.
Even in the face of crisis—farmers keep farming.
Cows are milked, sheep are fed, and eggs are collected. Fields are plowed, seedlings are started, and grapevines are pruned. The sun still comes up with the rooster’s crow, and the day begins again for farm families all around the world. And because farmers keep farming, we will all have food to eat, clothes to wear, and wine to drink.
New life is still arriving on the farm every day, in the shape of a newborn foal, a germinated corn seed, or a full pail of sap. This new life brings hope. Hope for better days ahead and hope that fuels the eternal optimism at the heart of every farmer who continues to work hard every day. Farmers who work through hardship, negative bank balances, and cold weather to make sure their family, their neighbors, and strangers all across the world have safe, wholesome food to eat.
The ultimate backbone of our country keeps moving along, providing much-needed confidence and normalcy in the steady cycle of life—the planting of a seed, the plowing of a field, the turning out of cattle to fresh pasture.
Farmers face crisis every day—market prices that are lower than what it costs to produce a product, the responsibility of caring for animals in a humane and sustainable way, maintaining million-dollar equipment needed to support the year’s harvest, relying on a weather report that calls for a small window of sun.
As you sit down to your family’s meal, after a day of homeschooling, conference calls featuring rowdy children, and the Disney movie on repeat, please remember the farmer—and the farmer’s family—who still woke up that morning to produce food for you.
We all need to eat, even in times of crisis, and I am proud of the farmers who work hard 365 days a year to make sure we have food to feed our families.
And as grocery stores deal with empty shelves, I am proud to be part of a farming community that will continue to donate eggs, vegetables, and corn to their local food pantries. We will share our cellar’s stores of last fall’s harvest. We will stretch crock pots meals from frozen beef to feed our neighbors. We will deliver to your home. We won’t raise prices, and we’ll still keep providing.
Farming is what has held our communities together for thousands of years, bound by our common need to eat. Let farmers provide the food and rural landscape we all admire, and also be the source of resiliency and stability we all crave in times of crisis.
For even when we’re all struggling with lives on hold—farmers keep farming.