In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, dairy farmers in Pennsylvania and across the Northeast are considered essential workers as they continue to produce dairy products and keep food moving safely to the marketplace. In an effort to showcase these “hidden heroes,” the Center for Dairy Excellence, with the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania, recently shared a collection of photos highlighting farmers who are continuing to farm for their communities.
Each of these photos are courtesy of the Choose PA Dairy campaign:
In a letter released on April 27, 2020, the Center urged consumers to support the farmers in their community by continuing to purchase fresh produce, meats and dairy from their local grocery stores and farmers’ markets. In addition, the Center reaffirmed that America is fortunate to have the most safe and abundant food supply in the world, thanks to those on the farm.
“As we celebrate the heroes among us, let us not forget about our farmers, who are feeding America, and helping to keep us safe, healthy, and comfortable,” said Jayne Sebright, Executive Director at the Center for Dairy Excellence. “Farmers are the eternal optimists. They hope. They work hard. They give back to others. And they are still farming, working long hours and endless days to keep America’s food supply strong, despite tremendous uncertainty about the future of their business. They will not stop farming for you.”
With restaurants and institutions closed amid COVID-19, dairy farmers alone have experienced a 10 percent decline in the demand for their milk. The prices these farmers receive for their products have also decreased well below production costs, due to market disruptions and business closures. Despite that, dairy farm families, like all farm families, continue to produce milk, grow produce and plant crops in hopes that the market will recover.
“Farmers know people will always need to eat, and they are passionate about their role in feeding a hungry world, despite the current uncertainty,” Sebright shared. “As we work together to navigate this pandemic, don’t forget to thank a farmer by choosing dairy and other products from local farms — in Pennsylvania and across the country.”
To view the full letter, visit centerfordairyexcellence.org/letter. To download and share photos of Pennsylvania dairy farmers working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, visit centerfordairyexcellence.org/hidden-heroes.