If there’s one thing I don’t think anyone was expecting this year, it’s the crisis that COVID-19 has brought. I feel like we are just in the beginning of the storm here in the U.S. The next few weeks could be a turntable in either direction.

Last Friday, Oregon closed all schools until at least April 1. This social distancing strategy will hopefully prove helpful in slowing the outbreak. But the move also had the adverse reaction of sending everyone into a panic.

I can understand the mountains of questions this new virus has brought. What I don’t understand is the public panic at this point. Being prepared and having a few extra supplies and groceries on hand is smart. Buying the world out of toilet paper is just plain craziness.

As I did have to brave the grocery store, I was proud to see the dairy staples flying off the shelf. Milk, cheese, butter, and coffee creamer were just a few of the products in short supply. The nutrition of dairy is valued when people need to stock up.

We can be proud of our industry that can provide uninterrupted nutrition in these uncertain times. Even as the questions swirl around how the dairy supply chain may be impacted and long-term economic effects. Let’s focus now on what dairy provides.

At the very least it’s fairly easy as dairy farmers to practice social distancing. And with our kids home from school, we can try to enjoy a little extra family time. Stay healthy out there everyone!


Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of two young boys who round out the family-run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abi-qua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and transitioned to a robotic milking system in 2017.

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