I’ve always been impressed by farmers’ ability to adapt to the unknown and figure out ways around challenges or unexpected obstacles. When they embark on a new season, farmers can’t sit down and map out exactly how it is going to go. What they do know is that the weather and the markets can be fickle, and forecasts only go so far into the future.
Crop consultants and ag industry folks have to conduct their day to day tasks as well. Building and maintaining a relationship with their clients and customers is an important part of how successful they will be. And although agriculture can be solitary in nature, some type of interaction with others is still necessary to get the job done.
Today, all around the world, COVID-19 — the great unknown — has turned life upside down for a large portion of the human race. People have had to adjust their lifestyles in ways they never dreamed of — shelter at home, avoid crowds, see churches forced to close and live a more solitary existence than what they are used to.Those residing in urban areas have had to learn what farmers have known for a while: There is more than one way to skin a cat.
Although the adjustment has not been as profound for those in the agriculture industry who typically operate in a more isolated environment, they’ve had to make some changes as well. In our Web Exclusive article this month, Arkansas cotton farmer and industry leader Nathan Reed shares how he has made adjustments from a farmer’s perspective.
Chad Brewer, who is a PhytoGen cotton development specialist in Arkansas and Bootheel Missouri, discusses what he is doing differently to continue working with farmers under the new restrictions.
They have figured out how to “virtually” skin the cat, but both admit missing the personal interaction while riding fields together or eating lunch at the local diner with a group of other farming folks. Yes, life as we know it has changed…at least for now.
One bright spot — for those with adequate broadband access — is that technology has been a tremendous help in keeping us connected in a virtual sense. It’s not what we prefer, but it’s been a good test of our fortitude until the world overcomes this hurdle and things get back to some semblance of normality. Stay safe out there.