MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – The coronavirus has caused the Kansas Department of Agriculture to send employees home from work, but ag officials said work on farms across the state hasn’t slowed down.
The crisis has caused some grocery stores to run out of food products like eggs or ground beef. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam said it’s not because there is a shortage of food to go around.
Since some restaurants and cafeterias have closed, food suppliers are having to shift where they’re distributing food to. That means more food should be coming to grocery stores soon.
“We don’t really have a shortage, just a matter of redirecting and fulfilling where the gaps are,” Beam said.
Officials said because the demand will remain high, and the fact that many farmers don’t work in large groups, the crisis might not hurt the ag industry as much as others.
“There shouldn’t be any disruption in the planting season. There shouldn’t be any disruption in the day to day care of animals, and marketing of animals,” Beam said, “So they’re actually, fortunately, in many ways fairly socially distanced from people.”
Secretary Beam said no matter how bad it gets, people have to eat and food production must go on.
“Our state’s farmers and ranchers will continue to provide ample, quality food not only for Kansans but for everyone throughout the world,” Beam said.
Beam also said that food processing plants are taking extra precautions in making sure employees are healthy so food can be delivered to consumers.
The Centers for Disease Control said there is no evidence that coronavirus can be transmitted through food.