The pace of U.S. COVID-19 vaccinations has been one of the top stories in the country the past few weeks. The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) notes with more and more people taking part in this vaccination process, it’s allowing the economy to build again and in the case of dairy, getting people into restaurants, keeping schools open for nutritious school lunches, and reviving outlets for dairy-farmer products that have been hampered by pandemic-era life.
But in rural areas where many lives are naturally socially distanced, human interactions are fewer and access to health care facilities and educational materials may not be as readily available. That’s where dairy farms and their cooperatives come in. Dairy farmers are leaders in their communities, as well as significant employers. They’re also usually part of a cooperative, which has expertise and resources that can be applied in many areas, including public health. They’re no stranger to shots – people who work with cows knew the word “coronavirus” for decades before it became socially distanced coffee shop conversation, and they know how to organize a vaccination effort.
The dairy industry has emerged as a key part of outreach to medically underserved rural areas, making sure those regions have a fair chance to overcome COVID-19. To see a sampling of grassroots efforts in the dairy community to keep America safe and get it moving again, go to the NMPF website.