Idaho's Family Farms Face World Of Unknowns During A Pandemic

May 21, 2020


Industries across the world are being disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. In the U.S., one sector facing significant uncertainty is agriculture. In Idaho, family farms have had to adapt to a constantly changing set of dynamics, creating challenges and opportunites in the local food system. 


Normally, spring vegetables would be all the rage right now at bustling farmer’s markets and local restaurants. But according to Ariel Agenbroad with the University of Idaho, many of the places where farmers sell their crops have shrunk, have delayed opening, or are still closed altogether.


So instead, family farms are looking at things like subscription box services where the food goes directly to consumers. 

"Some of them had some relationships with, say, a retail grocery store or a co-op," says Agenbroad. "That could still be a very strong market outlet for them, but if their farmer’s market is still up in the air, then they’ve got to figure out how to sell that product that would’ve been meant for the market.”


Others have even shifted to planting crops they can harvest in the summer or fall to recoup any hit they might’ve taken so far.

Listen to the full interview with Agenbroad from Idaho Matters. 

As COVID-19 cases spread through the U.S. and Idaho, we’re committed to keeping you updated and informed. You can get updated info on cases, closures and how to stay healthy at any time on our Coronavirus news blog.


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