We are living in interesting times.
The world is experiencing a pandemic, the country is experiencing social unrest, we have a presidential election coming, and many people are isolated from each other.
Businesses have closed, some permanently, some until they can safely try to resume serving their customers. Kids are doing all their classes online, their social activities and sports have been put on hold. Parents are trying to do work, teach children and keep the family together all from their houses at the same time. Teachers are having to rewrite lesson plans and teach classes on the computer, many for the first time. Basically, our lives have been turned upside down.
However, for many in agriculture life continues basically as before.
We represent one the most essential of industries. Without agriculture, society will literally start to crumble.
I have a friend who lives in Portland and he called to discuss “what will happen” when the food supply starts to dry up because farmers are unable to farm. I took time to explain to him that farmers are not stopping farming. We discussed that yes, supply chains are shifting and there may be some disruptions in certain goods at the grocery store, but in my opinion, we are not yet close to the point of not having food for people.
He was also very interested in what it would take for him to produce his own food. We discussed starting a garden, possibly having some small animals in his yard. All the sudden something he had taken for granted became very real to him: agriculture. He is a very determined individual and is going so far as to consider moving so he can be more self-sufficient.
We in agriculture take our jobs very seriously; I consider myself essential. Now more than ever, I appreciate every one of the suppliers I use. They have tried their hardest to keep supplies available to keep our farm and nursery running. It becomes very apparent to us how important our fertilizer supplier is, how important the auto parts store is, how important the Fed Ex and UPS drivers are to our operation. How important the people at the local grocery store are to our farm. Without them, our vegetables are stuck in some industrial freezer warehouse doing no good for anyone.
In my mind all of these people are agriculture at some level. And in my humble opinion agriculture is stepping up and serving our country.
These interaction during this trying time have got me thinking about how important agriculture is. How important it is that Oregon Aglink exists and continues to educate people on what we do for a living. How food is produced, who harvests and makes the boards for our houses, what is used to make cloth and fabric we all need. Many people take all of this for granted until it might not be there. I for one will try to remember each day to be thankful for everyone in agriculture.
Oregon Aglink President