For millions of Americans, our sense of what is normal has been radically shifted by an unprecedented pandemic sweeping across the globe.
New phrases, such as social distancing, have entered our lexicon. Schools and businesses are closed. Many are now telecommuting from their living rooms. Our nation has come together in these acts of solidarity to try and flatten the curve of infection.
In this time of incredible uncertainty, at least one thing is certain: America’s farmers and ranchers will keep calm and plant on.
Telecommuting isn’t a possibility for those who are working to feed America. Food and agriculture are a critical part of our national infrastructure and our farmers continue to go to work every single day, even in the midst of this evolving health crisis.
As Spring approaches, the extraordinary efforts that go into planning and planting a crop have not slowed. Despite the fact that much of the rest of the world has seemed to hit pause.
We have a new appreciation for the safe and affordable food we eat when suddenly confronted by empty store shelves. That appreciation deepens when once again those shelves are filled by the hardworking men and women in the ag supply chain.
“You know, we’re spoiled in America. You’ve provided such abundant, healthy, wholesome, affordable, available food that we take you for granted,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue recently said in a video address to America’s farmers and food manufacturers. “You know that America depends on you if we are going to have the food we need to feed our families, you are the ones that can make that happen.”
From the farmer who plants the seed to the grocer who sells the produce, we applaud every single person who supports our food chain.
Thank you for setting aside your own fears. For working hard days and long weeks. For feeding our families.
And in order for you to do your job, Washington must do its job by supplying our farmers and ranchers the tools and funding needed to weather this crisis and keeps our grocery stores stocked.
We trust that Congress and the Administration will deliver desperately needed relief to agriculture in its response to the pandemic, just like we trust that our farmers and ranchers will deliver just as they have time and again.