WASHINGTON D.C. - The coronavirus pandemic continues to create challenges that in some situations, are overwhelming rural communities.
As lawmakers in Washington D.C. debate what another round of COVID-19 assistance may look like, the National Farmers Union is asking that more than the bottom line be considered.
President Rob Larew recently penned a letter to the Senate, in which he pointed out that while the pandemic created a number of problems, many of those issues were on top of existing struggles, damaging the economic environment for farmers.
For example, he noted the ongoing problem of low commodity prices, not something that will go away once the pandemic is over.
“For some of the processing facilities, particularly in livestock, and we’ve seen all of the stories in beef and in hogs, that we have such a concentrated market out there, that when you have a few of the biggest plants go down, that has ripple effects back to the independent farmer or rancher, and those are the kinds of challenges that we need to have addressed.”
Larew added many communities are suffering in other ways as many nationwide have lost their hospital over the past ten to15 years, and he fears that number could increase in the wake of the pandemic.