A Farmer’s Thoughts on COVID-19

May 22, 2020

Kristin Lawson, Communications Coordinator

With the current COVID-19 pandemic going on, many people are worried and anxious about the future. Because of this new ‘normal’, things are different. When shopping at the grocery store, you will notice many people wearing masks. In some states, restaurants are operating at lower capacities right now. Life just looks and feels different.

Life is different even in the 1st Choice Seeds office. Over the last few months, we’ve had fewer customer visits and we’re all practicing social distancing. I spoke with Joey Benningfield to see how the life of a farmer and Seed Specialist has changed during this time.

Interview with Seed Specialist, Joey Benningfield:

Kristin: How has your life changed during the pandemic? Is anything different on your farm?

Joey: To be honest, nothing is really different. We’re homebodies anyways. We don’t need to go to the store too often because we kill our own beef and hogs. There’s been very few cases of COVID-19 in our area, but you do see some masks and gloves in town.

Kristin: How do you think the pandemic will affect farming/agriculture as a whole?

Joey: The euthanizing of farm animals has been awful, and the outlook doesn’t look too good.

Kristin: What challenges are your customers facing during this time and how are you able to help them?

Joey: Mostly, they’re concerned about the market. They just want good crops and to be paid for them. They don’t want to deal with insurance and government assistance, if they can avoid it.

Kristin: What changes are you making during your visits with customers to keep everyone safe?

Joey: I’m making more phone calls instead of visits these days. We’re all trying to be more careful.

Joey shared his overall thoughts on today’s circumstances and how his family gets through tough times. His words are an encouraging reminder during this time.

“I’ve been involved in the family farm all my life and we have faced many adversities. And now the market seems very uncertain through the COVID-19 pandemic. As I think back, we always found a way to pull through. We never got rich but made a good, honest living. Sticking to the basics, using high quality seed, getting it planted, having the right fertility, weed control, and a timely harvest. Also don’t forget to thank God everyday by prayer and ask for His help.”

Be safe, be careful, and God Bless

Joey Benningfield