NEW MARTINSVILLE, W.Va. – COVID-19 cases continue to rise nationwide.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the latest data reports that more than four million people have been infected with the novel coronavirus.
Many people have felt the financial impact of the pandemic, particularly farmers. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the decline in commodity value for 2019, 2020 and 2021 production totals almost $50 billion.
John Jennings of Jennings Brae Bank Farm located in Wetzel County is holding up well despite COVID-19.
Together with his wife, the two grow produce and raise livestock.
Jennings said that during this time, people in the community have been supportive and business is good.
“I think there is a demand for locally grown items and locally raised meat.”
Kacey Gantzer, planning coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, says that though some farmers had trouble getting their goods to buyers, her department was there to help.
“We put out a directory that producers could put themselves on, if people were looking to buy, a way to get their name out there.”
Farmers are now using tools that are different from plows and tractors in this unusual season.
Administrator of the USDA Farm Service Agency Richard Fordyce said that technology has played a big part in aiding farmers and consumers.
“I think the internet has been helpful in disseminating information.”
John Jennings is resourceful and says disruptions are a part of life, pandemic or not.
“I think farmers are used to dealing with change and different circumstances in general,” said Jennings.