BILLINGS — American agriculture is working diligently to maintain the stability of our food supply as concerns over COVID-19 lead to increased consumer purchases of groceries and other items.
“I can’t speak for all of agriculture, but I will say Montana’s farmers and ranchers, who are your neighbors, continue to work hard to bring food to your tables” said Chaley Harney, Montana Beef Council executive director. “Just as we rely on the health professionals in our lives, everyone is doing their part to keep things table and productive during these uncertain times.”
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue agrees.
“Everyday heroes are stocking the shelves of your grocery store” said Perdue. “Truck drivers are keeping supply networks open and functioning. Food service workers across the country are preparing the products that markets and school lunch workers are keeping America's families and children fed during this time of school closures. USDA food safety inspectors continue to ensure the food we eat is safe, healthy and nutritious. America's farmers and ranchers and those on the front line in the food service industry are doing their part. And we are forever grateful.”
Chaley says whether it’s now during this national emergency or afterward, American consumers should be thankful that farmers and ranchers provide with an abundant and safe food supply.
“Unfortunately, we still have hundreds in our state that go hungry each day, but this may be the first time many in our population have seen a bare shelf in their entire life,” said Harney. “It has been worth taking pictures of to remember it. We have the safest and most secure food supply in the world, but we have to practice some patience and sensibility to help with the process. Showing a little kindness to others won’t hurt either.”
Those involved in agriculture are also encouraging consumers to avoid the temptation to buy more food than what’s really needed to not only avoid food waste but to also make sure those in need have enough as well.