On March 23, 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order urging all Michigan residents to “Stay Home, Stay Safe” amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Sectors considered to be essential were excluded from this order, including those employed in food and agriculture. 

Simply said, farmers are essential. 

Farmers are essential to providing nutritious, quality foods and products – more than 300 grown right here in Michigan. Farmers are essential to stewarding and sustaining the land, not just for today, but for tomorrow and for the years, decades and centuries that will follow. Farmers are essential to keeping America running, right now more than ever. 

Rita Herford, a crop farmer from Gentner-Bischer Farms explains it best, “the thing about farming is that everything has a season, and the work is essential. Animals need to be fed and cared for every day. Seeds need to be planted and harvested every year. We will get it done.”

While the world is facing a pandemic, farmers continue to hold steady, carrying on as they would in any other spring. For centuries, farmers have worked through snowstorms, power outages, stock market crashes, and global pandemics. According to Rita, “it’s the nature of our business.”

So, during this incredible time of uncertainty, when the shelves at the stores appear bare, and the fear for the future is palpable, rest assured that you do not have to worry – farmers are still working. Even if everything in your life seems turned upside down, our food chain will stay consistent. 

“Don’t worry about shortages in the food supply; there is abundance,” says Rita. “Farmers, food processors, truckers and grocery store employees are all working hard to make sure the shelves are stocked. If the store is out of something, most likely the truck hasn’t shown up yet.”

Tomorrow will come and farmers will go to work. In a few weeks, they’ll be planting their crops and the harvest will follow in the fall and we will have enough to eat. Farmers will provide. Farmers will deliver. Farmers are essential.



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