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Recognizing farmers in light of COVID19: Field agents of change

Recognizing farmers in light of COVID19: Field agents of change

Before the COVID19 pandemic struck, farming systems all over the world were already facing complex problems for food production related to natural resource depletion, climate change, and increasing demand for healthy food. As farmers, we were already preparing to meet the need to continuously adapt our farming systems to changing conditions in the climate and our markets in order to be resilient and deal with the future of producing food on our planet. In many ways, as farmers we were already prepared and attuned to responding to unexpected situations and to always be prepared in the moment to find solutions and respond quickly to new pests and diseases in our crops, changes in the behavior and health of our livestock, and to the impact of extreme weather events. With the introduction of the Food Safety Modernization Act, we learned to implement new levels of sanitation practices on our farms despite the economic impact to our bottom lines. Farmers were uniquely prepared for this crisis and we have been on the front lines of the response. 

There is an opportunity for farmers to be agents of positive change in the world through our response to the complex health and economic problems in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic. Farmers around the country have been able to flex and surge in our production and marketing to get food not only to our existing customers, but to those people who had limited access to food before the current emergency. As farmers, we already rely on our network of fellow farmers for support, for inspiration, and to help each other out when one of us is in need. In this crisis, the values of community and stewardship that bind our humanity to the earth and to each other are just what the world needs to make us more resilient.

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