President's Column: "Everyone is Family"

Posted on May 6, 2020

As we make our way through the COVID-19 pandemic and all the change it has created, it is hard to ignore the discomforting news we are hearing as it relates to the agriculture industry, and our economy in general.

Worries about the economy are valid, but the first thing any of us needs to do is take all the necessary steps to stay safe. Our health and safety, and the well-being of our families, friends, and neighbors trumps all.

I have been reminded daily, through this pandemic, of the words left to us from former Kentucky State Trooper Eric Chrisman, “Everyone is family.”

Keeping that thought as we move forward is paramount as we begin the task of getting back to some form of normalcy and doing so in the wake of the terrible economic storm damage COVID-19 has left us with.

I don’t have to make a list of all the challenges we face on the farm and in our rural communities. It seems to be all we hear or read about from various news sources. But farm families have faced tough times before. Facing the tough market situations we have been presented with however, is unnerving to say the least. 

But, most of what is driving those markets has to do with speculation. There is so much we don’t know, yet the fear of that is helping to fuel an already volatile market and the buying habits of the public.

To say it’s going to be a tough road in front of us would be an understatement, but it is still a road worth taking. Farms are essential and always have been. We will prevail. I have no doubts about that.

In doing so, we must work together as a collective agricultural family. We have resources in this state that others don’t. We have strong partnerships between commodity groups and other ag organizations that most states can only dream about. We have government leaders who understand the importance of agriculture and are supportive of our efforts.

We need to pull together, help each other, share our ideas, utilize our resources, and kick this thing. It won’t be easy, but nothing worth doing or having is. If farming was easy, there would be a lot more of us.

To our consumers, despite what you hear or read, we will not run out of food. We could see some disruptions due to processing plant closures, and you may not find exactly what you’re looking for in the meat case on every trip to the grocery store.

But we need to practice patience and understand that the U.S. food chain is healthy and resilient. In looking at the big picture, these disruptions won’t last forever.

To our farmers, we have a job to do, so let’s do it. Kentucky Farm Bureau is still advocating on your behalf to get us through this.

In continuing with our commitment to the people of this state, KFB Insurance just made a monumental donation to the Hunger Initiative to help those in need of food get through this.

This organization is like no other and I am so proud to be a part of it. We will never stop fighting for those we call family and, “Everyone is family.”

Mark Haney, President
Kentucky Farm Bureau