The Department of Homeland Security affirmed just how important agriculture is to the U.S., especially during a pandemic like the coronavirus outbreak. DHS says public health, law enforcement, food and agriculture, defense, and 12 other industries are “critical,” and should keep to their usual work schedules to help respond to the outbreak.
The guidance from DHS is designed to help limit potential confusion as some state and local governments implement various curfews or bans on large gatherings to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Over 60 groups that represent the food, beverage and consumer packaged goods asked for uniform guidance on what businesses are exempt from those restrictions.
The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives applauded the move, saying, “As we face an unprecedented crisis, Americans will continue to be able to find nutritious food on store shelves.” It also provides much-needed reassurance for our farmers as planting season gets underway.
A release from the NCFC says, “America’s co-ops and their farmer-owners stand ready to play their part in the nation’s food supply chain. As we’ve seen so many times in American history, our farmers and ranchers will rise to meet the challenge.”