The coronavirus pandemic flipped the world on its head and knocked farmers off our feet when it started its spread. But instead of giving in, we showed the true spirit of rural America by helping our neighbors out. Hand sanitizer suddenly became a vital necessity, and ethanol facilities shifted their production capabilities to meet this sudden spike in demand.
State associations jumped in to help with the distribution. The Illinois Corn Growers Association partnered with other farm groups to distribute sanitizer to retailers to keep them in the field through the critical planting period. “I thought it was important to help the community during this crisis. It made the most sense to purchase products made right here in Illinois and distribute them across the state. Logistics was the trickiest part,” Rodney Weinzierl, executive director of Illinois Corn, said.
The New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association teamed up with Western New York Energy to deliver sanitizer to farmers. “We applaud Western New York Energy’s ability and willingness to pivot their business to provide much-needed sanitation resources while maintaining the market for our growers during these uncertain times,” said New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association Executive Director Colleen Klein.
The Kentucky Corn Growers Association partnered with Commonwealth Agri-Energy to donate bottles of sanitizer to ag retailers and venues like livestock sale barns and farmers markets. “Now more than ever, it’s important to stay connected and take care of one another,” said Kentucky Corn Executive Director Laura Knoth.
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.