COVID-19 Impact on the Agriculture Industry

Slides by Brook Lahrman

At the beginning of 2020, the United States and people all over the world were shocked by the news of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The pandemic affected every industry possible and caused many issues along the way.  One of the industries that were impacted was the agriculture industry, as many workers were determined essential to be able to keep food in stores and on tables for Americans.  This final project will answer the question “How was the agriculture industry affected by the pandemic?”

My final project will be in the form of a Google slideshow.  In my slides, I will use data from news articles, statistical reports, scholarly articles, a YouTube video, and personal interviews I conducted with members from my community in different sectors of the agriculture industry.  Also, I will summarize what I observed when researching my background information and how the industry was impacted in my hometown of Lafayette, IN.  In the news articles, I found information on how crop and livestock farmers were impacted and how they dealt with the problems, and what they expect the future to look like.  In the statistical reports produced by USDA, they gave numbers and percentages of how livestock production compared to 2019 and future projections of 2021.  I incorporated an article by Professor Andrew Flachs about how the pandemic affected the health and safety of workers and farmers within the industry.  I added a YouTube video to my slide that interviews two Alabama farmers and shows how they handled the pandemic.  Lastly, I interviewed three different sectors of the industry and included their personal stories and experiences during the pandemic.  At the end of my project, I used a local news interview with a Purdue Agriculture Economics professor and local farmer about the current index and projections for this fall as an example of what the future might hold for the agriculture industry. 

This project is important because it shows others how significant the agriculture industry is because, without it, there would be no clothes or food for anyone.  It brings light to the essential employees that worked through the pandemic to make sure Americans had food to buy at grocery stores or local farms.  I hope those who view this project understand how important the agriculture industry is and see the sacrifices farmers and workers had to make. 


Barman, Abhijit, Rubi Das, and Pijus Kanti De. “Impact of COVID-19 in Food Supply Chain: Disruptions and Recovery Strategy.” Current Research in Behavioral Sciences. Elsevier, January 28, 2021.

Barone, Emily. “Will Coronavirus’s Disruption of Big Ag Have Lasting Change?” Time. Time, July 9, 2020.

Flachs, Andrew. “Essential Agrarian Histories for Essential Agrarian Futures · Essential Labor,” May 12, 2020.

Johansson, Robert. “America’s Farmers: Resilient Throughout the COVID Pandemic.” USDA, October 13, 2020.

Thomas, Marlee. “Ag Experts Say There’s Room for Optimism as Planting Season Begins.” WLFI News, April 19, 2021.–574236031.html.

Washington Post. “The Cost of the Pandemic for America’s Farmers.” YouTube. YouTube, April 16, 2020.

Williams, Taylor. “COVID-19 Having Two-Pronged Effect on Farmers and the Agriculture Industry.” WANE 15. WANE 15, April 17, 2020.

Yaffe-bellany, David, and Michael Corkery. “Dumped Milk, Smashed Eggs, Plowed Vegetables: Food Waste of the Pandemic.” The New York Times. The New York Times, April 11, 2020.

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