By Jeremy C. Nagel
That’s what we heard back from Community Group members about our April discussion topic about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on those groups, Farm Bureau and agriculture in general. And it’s a pretty safe bet that the scarcity of feedback is, itself, a result of that exact same issue.
It’s okay. We get it. And we’re not surprised… (We’re still friends, though, right?)
It was late March when I wrote that article — right about the time I started working from home and all you-know-what was breaking loose. It already seems like a long time ago. There were more questions than answers, and it’s probably fair to say that we all hoped this’d all be over by now.
Some of that early fog has lifted but there’s still no clear sight line revealing what the coming months and years hold. We’re all looking forward to components of normalcy coming into focus, but until then you might see us taking liberties with the traditional discussion topic format.
Most importantly, though, take good care of yourselves and your loved ones; we need you safe and healthy!
We are staying in touch via Zoom, phone calls, texts and outdoor safe-distancing practices. (Kirks Farm Bureau CAG; Livingston County)
We communicate by phone calls, texts and emails. (Happy Harvesters CAG; Macomb County)
We see parts are delivered by calling the place and picking them curbside. We see the price of selling corn dropping below the price of planting corn. We see supply chain issues such as Wendy’s only selling chicken, and limits on farm products in stores. (Kirks Farm Bureau CAG; Livingston County)
With the lockdown, it will hurt the farmers who raise animals as they cannot send hogs, livestock, etc. to be slaughtered. Closing all of the schools has hurt as the food programs are not being served and milk is not being consumed. (Happy Harvesters CAG; Macomb County)
Crop prices will decrease. If it was not for insurance on crops it will be difficult to make it. It will be more than a year before things turned around. Agritourism will suffer as large group gatherings will be limited or nonexistent. On the positive, side niche markets like CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and custom meat operations will flourish as the consumer looks for a way through the supply chain maze. (Kirks Farm Bureau CAG; Livingston County)
The economy will be slow until they get things up and running again. (Happy Harvesters CAG; Macomb County)
Farmers individually are self-sustaining regarding growing gardens and hands-on repair jobs etc., so they can give practical knowledge to their non-farm neighbors. However, farming is a business and interconnected with the world. We will all need to learn new ways to cope. (Kirks Farm Bureau CAG; Livingston County)
The news media would be the ones who could help but all we hear on TV is the numbers who have died from this virus. (Happy Harvesters CAG; Macomb County)