Farming is unique in that it’s a job, but also a lifestyle. In the midst of quarantines, work stoppages and business closures due to the coronavirus, the lifestyle and business of farming goes on.
The South Dakota Farm Bureau took that message to heart and began the localized “#StillFarming” campaign to both uplift those who feel isolated and reassure consumers that food will not be in short supply throughout this uncertain time.
“We all hear on the news about things are being shut down, but the message is that farmers and ranchers are still out in the fields, their barns, and doing whatever they need to be doing to still farm,” said Brenda Dreyer, the marketing and communications director with South Dakota Farm Bureau.
The idea for the campaign came from the American Farm Bureau Federation, but the South Dakota initiative has been “lovely,” Dreyer said. A seemingly endless stream of pictures have come through Dreyer’s social media feed for the campaign. Some board members also got involved.
“It’s been interesting to see this, but this campaign is something fun to show people we are still out and about,” she said. “There is still work to be done.”
Bryan Moes of Moes Feedlot in Watertown, South Dakota was one of those who submitted photos to the campaign. After coming back to his family’s operation in 2014, Moes said he’s been working on building relationships – some that need positive reinforcement during isolation.
While the Moes operation continues as planned for the spring, Moes said that getting help on the farm has been troublesome. Their typical seasonal workers returned home during the quarantine.
Moes said he is just trying to look out for his fellow farmers by staying positive.
“I just wanted to help get the message out for those who can’t work,” he said.
You can view the photos from the campaign on the South Dakota Farm Bureau website. Also search the hashtag on Twitter to pull up a stream of photos from both national and local campaigns.