I hope you and those you love are safe and well. Time is spinning into summer, more businesses, states and provinces are continuing to reopen, and we all have questions and worries ahead of us. I hope these updates not only provide resources to help you during this time, but also a reminder that we are finding our way together.
In Defense of Redundancy
Nothing gets us focused on farms like empty shelves at the grocery store. Having farmed through three pandemics, I can all but predict how this will play out: panic-buying and stockpiling, fleeting interest in local agriculture and temporary acceptance of the true cost of food, followed by quick return to the convenience of pre-pandemic shopping. It will be as if this recent seismic shift never happened, and we’ll have lost a rare opportunity to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
In order to make sure that this doesn’t happen again, we must look for and create places of redundancy in the food system. Many of you are filling those spaces right now, and we invite you to read more on the topic and share widely.
Marketing Support during Reopenings (and always)
Just as you pivoted to reach customers as markets shifted at the start of the pandemic, reopenings now present other possible changes. Continuing to get your products to customers takes a different shape for every farm and ranch out there (see our COVID-19 Collected Resources for Farmers for tips). We know that you are burning the candle at both ends, so please remember the marketing support provided by AGW. Whether you’d like to incorporate the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW logo into your labels (learn more about labeling assistance), need AGW-branded promotional materials for point of sale, need to update your vendor listings or your farm profile (reach out to your FMOC or fill out this form to do that) or want to talk through ideas for getting your farm and products out there even further, our Marketing Team is here to help. We hope you’ll be in touch!
Help Farmers Feed Hungry Families
AGW’s peer-to-peer fundraiser, recently covered in this Civil Eats article, has raised thousands of donated funds to help AGW-certified farmers with excess products donate to area food relief organizations. We are so grateful to those who have donated or shared the project and grateful to be able to facilitate a space for producers who needed to move products during this time of unprecedented market change.
- The AGW Marketplace—anyone and everyone seeking or selling AGW-certified products is encouraged to use it freely
- Our COVID-19 Collected Resources for Farmers page—new resources added regularly
- AGW’s Online Shopping page—we get emails from people weekly asking for AGW-certified online shopping options, so make sure you’re listed!
- Our video check-ins with farmers, processors, and people working in the supply chain across the country share how folks have adapted to pandemic-related changes in their businesses.
- AGW’s technical support services and Farm Health Online are here to help with any technical questions or issues that you may have during this time.
From your Peers
Food and farming continue to be in the headlines. This Civil Eats article features AGW-certified TomKat Ranch in CA. While agritourism has taken a hit, some farms are cautiously preparing for increased interest, and an article from The Keene Sentinel highlights spring on the farm at AGW-certified Archway Farm in NH. This Forbes article features AGW-certified Superior Fresh aquaponics production system in WI. With media coverage focusing on agriculture, we want to do everything we can to take advantage of this time. We have been responding to recent news pieces written about the meat supply chain in the country, making sure that the work you are doing each day—producing food for your communities—is known and recognized. We will continue to do that as well as share the stories of other AGW-certified producers across North America.
Thank you for the non-stop work you put into taking care of your livestock, land, families and customers. If we can be of help to you in any specific way, please reach out and let us know.