As U.S. farmers continue to navigate tough economic times resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ll have the nation’s support.
A survey conducted by American Farm Bureau Federation
shows 84% of Americans trust U.S. farmers, and that same percentage approve of farmers receiving federal assistance.
The poll also revealed 59% of Americans believe the federal government should categorize agriculture as a matter of national security to ensure the nation’s food supply.
“The results of the survey indicate a growing understanding of how important a stable food supply is to the health and well-being of our nation,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall.
“Shortages at grocery stores and other food supply chain shockwaves caused by the pandemic gave many people a new understanding of the crucial role of America’s farmers and ranchers and the importance of their survival through the COVID-19 economic storm. It is so heartening to know that, through it all, the American people’s trust in farmers is unwavering.”
The survey found 85% of Americans think the pandemic disrupted food chain supplies, and 53% recognize that farm finances have been adversely affected.
While the full financial impact of the pandemic has yet to be realized, early reports project a grim outlook. An AFBF report
accompanying the poll indicated that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is estimating a $50 billion decline in the value of commodity products through 2021.
Recognizing the mounting agricultural losses being felt across the country, Duvall reasserted the need for additional COVID-19 relief for farmers in a recent letter to congressional leaders
“The economic losses across the U.S. agriculture sector are broad‐based, directly impacting farmers and ranchers and their supply chain partners,” Duvall said.
“Producers have witnessed their markets shrink overnight or even disappear, while supply chains have been stretched to the limit in response to the pandemic. The widespread closures at the retail level are impacting consumer demand and purchasing patterns in ways that the industry has never experienced.”