Comment Column by KFB 1st Vice President Eddie Melton: We are Stronger Together

Posted on Apr 6, 2020

 

I remember a time in the early 1980s, when being on the farm was difficult at best and almost impossible. I will admit, there was a point when I considered what life away from the farm would be like.

It was actually more fear-related than a consideration. My family and I had way too much invested to walk away, but it was very difficult to see a light at the end of the tunnel. It was through my love for farming, organizations like Farm Bureau, and faith in the good Lord that kept me here.

I have never regretted that decision, and I find that to be the case with most farm families I know. They wouldn’t trade the farm for anything despite a tough ag economy they have endured for the last few years.

Now, we face a new challenge with the onset of the coronavirus, COVID-19. While this certainly is a health issue to pay close attention to, it is also having an impact on the economy and commodity markets, adding to already high stress levels of many farmers and those in farm-related industries.

Agriculture inherently comes with a certain amount of stress and risk. But it also comes with rewards that only farm families understand. As the spread of the virus continues, we are hearing words like “essential” to describe the value of agriculture as it provides our food supply.

But we’ve always known how essential the farm is to our economy, our local communities, and all those folks who depend on us to eat.

I have no doubt our food supply will remain solid and substantial. We have come so far in our ability to grow abundantly, continually, and safely.

No virus will change that. However, we do recognize the fact that an already shaky farm economy may hit more obstacles. That is exactly why Farm Bureau is here. This organization, along with our commodity groups, our university partners, and countless supporters in all levels of government are working daily to help farmers remain on the farm.

We are tracking the events that are taking place around us daily, even hourly, to stay on top of this. Kentucky’s agriculture industry is one of the most diverse in the country. We have countless resources that help us to stay in business, and all these things work to our advantage.

We also have some of the most dedicated farmers in the world, and there’s no other place I would rather be, in going through this period of time, than right here in Kentucky.

And for those of you who know me, I’m not just blowin’ smoke. I have always been honest with our members and our ag community and I’m not about to change. We will weather this storm just as we did the turbulent time in the 80s.

But fear can cause people to do unthinkable things like hoard toilet paper and Clorox. It can also affect our emotions, as we struggle to cope during this situation.

We recognize that, but if we work together, count on each other, and follow the protocol our government leaders have provided us, we will make it through this. We are indeed stronger together.

As always, Kentucky Farm Bureau is here to help in anyway we can.

Eddie Melton, First Vice President
Kentucky Farm Bureau