The local farming and ranching industry has dealt with all sorts of labor and distribution problems during the pandemic. However, help from the federal government appears to be on the way.

The agriculture industry, by its very nature, must be resilient, especially during a crisis. Fortunately, relief on the way. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $16B in direct aid to American farmers and ranchers to mitigate potential losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

President of the Texas Farm Bureau Russell Boening said this will be a huge help to our local industry.

"It's been a trying couple of months that's for sure," Boeing said. "We deal with drought; we deal with market fluctuations, but a pandemic is something we've never dealt with and of course the rest of this economy has never dealt with either. It's much needed and very much appreciated. It is going to help"

One issue that has been of concern is moving products efficiently at this time. Right now, we are seeing some price fluctuations being passed down to consumers. Boening hopes this won't be a long-term trend.

"I don't foresee a large spike in prices," Boening said. "There may be certain items - meat products - that may see somewhat of an increase in price."

While this federal aid will play a vital role in the recovery of our local producers, Texas will never slow down.

"When this thing hit, it was about the time the planters started rolling in South Texas, and commodity prices went down," Boening said. "I don't know of anyone who parked their planter because of the pandemic; everyone kept doing what they were doing. The morale is still there. Folks are still passionate about this industry."

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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