Taylor Looking At Long-term Impacts Of COVID-19 On Oregon Ag

While the coronavirus pandemic continues across the U.S. and across the world, many in the agriculture industry are already looking at lessons that can be taken from 2020, and the impact it will have on the Ag industry moving forward. Alexis Taylor, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, said they are currently looking at how marketing efforts will evolve and change in a post-COVID-19 world.

“Talking with the various commodity groups, seeing what we can be doing domestically, seeing what other opportunities we have here in Oregon or within the Pacific Northwest, or even just across the country.  And also hen trying to think about what our international work might look like not just in the next few months, but really in the next year plus.”

Taylor noted while the Ag community is hopeful to return to a sense of normal as soon as possible, she is concerned that impacts of coronavirus may be felt for several years after a vaccination is developed. She added the pandemic has highlighted some of the existing challenges in Ag infrastructure, making it challenging for the industry to pivot appropriately and quickly when markets closed, or needs change.

“And I think that is going to continue to be a concern in the coming years, even when we get past the impacts of COVID-19, I think we’ve all felt what a global pandemic can actually mean to our daily lives but also to our agriculture and food sector and thinking about how do we help them be more resilient and more adaptive if we’re ever in this position again.”

Taylor was scheduled to lead a trade trip to Asia later this year, but that has been canceled because of the pandemic. Despite all of the challenges farmers and ranchers have faced over the past 6+ months, Taylor notes Oregon farmers continue to produce some of the best Ag products out there, and she’s confident that’s one thing that will not change after the pandemic has cleared.

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