As the United States began to grapple with the effects of COVID-19 on essential services and supplies, we at the American Farm Bureau wanted to do our part to assure the American people that farmers were still on the job doing their part to keep our food supply secure. In March, we launched #StillFarming as way to join together in telling the stories of how work on the farm has not stopped. And word has gotten out: #StillFarming has reached more than 67 million people. Not only has it been used by farmers and others in all 50 states, but now it’s going transcontinental.
Clearly, farmers and ranchers were hungry for a unifying theme that speaks to their tenacity and commitment to their work. But #StillFarming is so much more than a rallying cry. It’s reaching consumers and connecting them to the people who grow their food, with a glimpse into how it’s grown. It has given consumers much-needed assurance in these uncertain times that the farm families of America are keeping our plates full even though some sparse grocery store shelves have caused concern due to supply chain stresses. There is no shortage of food being grown in our country, thanks to the hard-working farmers and ranchers who are #StillFarming.
It’s also a chance for farmers and ranchers to show their tremendous pride in what they do. It has been a platform for farmers to share how, in the face of unprecedented uncertainty, they’re adapting and adjusting to stay safe, keep their workers safe, and keep on farming—like all the great farmers and ranchers in this video who talk about not only what they do, but why they do it—because they see farming as a calling, not just a job.
In this video featuring several farmers and ranchers in Pennsylvania, you can see and feel the pride in agriculture and keeping us fed.
Many have taken the opportunity to give back, like these Illinois pork producers and dairy farmers in Maryland. The focus on agriculture and #StillFarming has given us a platform to share those “good news” stories that we all need more than ever these days.
Now, #StillFarming is going beyond social media, with farmers and ranchers sporting bumper stickers, putting up yard signs and even creating billboards using #StillFarming and engaging with consumers right in their communities.
We’re always eager to share our pride in agriculture. If there’s a silver lining to what we’re all going through with COVID-19, it’s the chance to show the world that agriculture is critical to our lives and farmers and ranchers are proud to work hard so that all Americans can continue to have the safe, sustainable food we need and enjoy.
Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re working hard to provide our safe, affordable and reliable food supply? I hope you’ll jump on board and use #StillFarming to share your story. We’re so appreciative of all who have shared their stories so far and those who have engaged with the stories on social media.
And for all who are #StillFarming, thank you! You, along with our great food chain, healthcare, public safety and transportation workers, are keeping our nation strong as we get through this crisis together.
Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.