Pandemics and Potatoes

There is no doubt that Covid-19 has impacted every industry around the world.

Clothing stores and malls have closed, factories have shut down,  restaurants are relying on take-out orders, and offices have everyone working from home.

But something a lot of people aren’t talking about are farmers. Not only are farmers still working, preparing to plant their crops, but many are also still trying to sell their crops from last year.

Potato farmers across Canada have millions of pounds of potatoes sitting in sheds that are rotting. Potatoes that would normally be sold to restaurants, and eaten in homes across the country. News sources everywhere are talking about this issue, that has created headaches and financial crises for producers.

A radio station in Saskatoon recently made a facebook post about the excess potatoes, and someone commented asking why the price of potatoes hadn’t gone down.

Why haven’t the prices gone down?

Because there are farmers who poured millions of dollars into their crops last year, and still haven’t been paid.

Because there are farmers still putting money into seed, fertilizer and equipment for their crops this year.

Because farmers deserve a paycheque for their work just as much as a doctor, lawyer, or grocery store worker.

Because farmers produce something that you need to survive.

Sure, you can say that I’m biased, because I grew up surrounded by fields of wheat, canola, soybeans, and potatoes. But this also means that I also have a front-row seat to see the stress that this situation puts on farmers. I see the work, the effort, the blood, sweat and tears that goes into every acre.

Farmers have the job of feeding the world. You wouldn’t be alive without them. So show them some support, especially now when they need it the most.

What are farmers struggling with where you are from? How can you support them through the pandemic?

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