Coping with Coronavirus: One Waverly family farm share their story

Over in Waverly, Nebraska, Paula Peterson and her husband Tom have been farming together for 34 years.

Over in Waverly, Nebraska, Paula Peterson and her husband Tom have been farming together for 34 years.

As coronavirus swept our nation, bringing it to a halt, local farmers are feeling the brunt of the impact. The Peterson’s biggest concern? Where corn and soybean prices are going to end up.

“We’ve already had the inputs that we’ve had to put into it. There’s not a lot of things you can cut out,” said Paula. “It’s not like a family budget where you can say ‘Okay, I’m not going to have pizza one day a week’. You still have to pay for the fertilizer, the seed, the equipment, cost, repairs, fuel, all of those set costs are in it. We just don’t know where this is going to go. And we don’t know how long it’s going to be”.

Right now, they can’t sell cattle. With meat pack plants catching up and butchers completely booked, the family will soon be left with two choices: drive hundreds of miles out to find a butcher shop with an open spot or add ‘butcher’ to their resume.

“Is it a skill I want to learn? Not particularly. But, whats the alternative?”

Regardless, Paula says change is nothing new when it comes to farming.

“We are always preparing for the next new weirdness that life is going to throw at us,” joked Paula. “We’ve been farming for 34 years and I can honestly say there has never been a normal year. We are always looking for new opportunities to diversify our operation”.

 

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