Many of you know that I was diagnosed with COVID-19 two weeks ago. I want to begin this column with a heartfelt thank you for everyone’s thoughts and prayers. Your messages of caring and encouragement have meant a lot to me.
It is amazing how this virus hits people in such different ways. My COVID-19 experience has been much lighter than others have had. I’m blessed and grateful for that, but I also want to send prayers to everyone whose health has been more severely impacted, as well as those whose livelihoods have been threatened.
For me, I felt very sick, had a high fever and headaches, and felt exhausted. I’m happy to say that today I am feeling much better. The fever and headaches are gone. Now, I just need to get my energy back. I was glad to be able to participate in virtual meetings and calls over the past two weeks, but it took a lot out of me!
Anyone who knows me knows that I can’t stand to sit around doing nothing, and that was part of the prescription. I’ll be so glad when I can get out and farm again. But I never stopped working for America’s farmers and ranchers.
Farm Bureau continues to work for an increase in Commodity Credit Corp. funding to ensure USDA can respond quickly to any future body blows to farm markets and prices, and we’re working to ensure the next round of COVID-19 assistance is more helpful to farm and ranch businesses. We also continue to analyze the impacts to meat processing and prices, so we can learn what worked and what didn’t and improve the system for the future.
In these times of the pandemic and economic challenges, it is comforting to remember and recite the Serenity Prayer.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
There’s a lot that’s happening now that we cannot change. But we can take care of ourselves and others, and we can keep working together to make our agriculture industry and our nation stronger. Let’s all commit to being more accepting, courageous and wise as we deal with the pandemic and other challenges we may face in our own businesses, lives and communities. And let’s never forget how blessed we are to live in the United States of America.
May God bless you and keep you safe.
Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.