The Heroes of America's Supply Chain
COVID-19 has turned the lives of millions of Americans upside down. While offices and schools across the country are transitioning to remote work and online learning, farm operations are simultaneously ramping up in preparation for spring planting. Obviously, it’s imperative that steps be taken on the farm to minimize exposure risk for yourself and your workers, but given our nation’s need for food it’s more important than ever for pre-planting fieldwork to get done and for seed to get into the ground on time.
An Essential Service
When we think of essential services, thoughts often turn to the doctors and nurses staffing hospitals, the police and fire departments protecting our communities, and utilities such as electricity and water. But another essential service is farming! As USDA Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, eloquently pointed out in his salute to the U.S. supply chain, during World War II while millions of Americans were enlisting and getting drafted into the military, the U.S. had farm deferments to ensure the stability of the country’s food supply.
On the Frontlines
It’s more than just farmers on the frontlines fighting to keep the country’s food supply flowing. The people driving trucks, manning warehouses, stocking shelves, and checking us out at the grocery store all deserve a debt of gratitude. So do the people on the other end of the supply chain providing our farmers with the fuel, fertilizer, seed, and equipment (such as our amazing tire dealers) to ensure that they keep producing accessible and affordable food to feed our families with.
The U.S. Advantage
In times like these, it’s comforting to know that people across the nation can still rely on access to wholesome and healthy food, thanks to the heroic efforts of U.S. farmers and infrastructure. Despite the news stories of long lines at the grocery store and the taxing of supply chains over the past week, there’s a reason why we call farmers the backbone of the nation: the U.S. is one of a select few countries that’s capable of feeding its entire population with its own production (other notables include France, Canada, Australia, Russia, India, Argentina, and Thailand).
As COVID-19 takes its course and spreads across the country, farmers will have to deal with fluctuating prices, fragile supply lines, and a short labor supply—which means they’ll have to be more efficient and effective than ever. One of our tenets is to create application-specific tires that bolster farmers’ bottom lines by improving efficiency and productivity, protecting soil quality and increasing yields, and delivering a longer-lasting product than our competition. We’ve long said that we build tires to meet the real-world demands facing farmers, and though we never imagined this, our tires are positioned to help you survive all types of challenges on the farm—even COVID-19.
One of the results of farm deferments during World War II was a boom of technological innovation in agriculture after the war. We’re looking to follow that legacy, helping our farmers do more with less. In the meantime, we’re sure farmers will meet this test like they do all the others (unfavorable weather, low commodity prices, and trade wars, to name a few recent challenges) and remind all of us why farmers—and the rest of the U.S.’s food supply chain—are truly heroes. To all our ag and ag-related customers, stay safe and healthy; we need you!