Six months into the pandemic, at least some things are getting back to normal for rural producers

‘Things are kind of getting more normal it seems… (we’re) just having to learn how to deal with everything how it is.’

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

Six months in and with rising numbers there is no end in sight for the pandemic currently gripping the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do things, from wearing masks to using copious amounts of hand sanitizer, not much has been unaffected by the virus.

One sector that hasn’t been as affected as many others is that of the local producer.

Farms have continued to operate throughout the pandemic across the province, with few changes. For local cattle producer Brian Weeks of Twin Anchor Charolais, with the kids getting back to school and his off-farm job being steady, he’s happy that things are getting back to normal.

“Everything is going pretty good on the farm,” said Weeks.

“Things are kind of getting more normal it seems… (we’re) just having to learn how to deal with everything how it is.”

Yet another sign of returning normalcy is the return of kids to school. The kids returned to school at the beginning of September for the first time since the pandemic began in March.

“I think it’s been good for them to get back and see their friends and get learning things from their teachers,” said Weeks.

“In a small town, I think people are pretty common sense and are (making) the best of things.”

On the farm, the usual activities have been occurring, most recently the fall harvest.

“We’ve got our harvest done. There wasn’t a lot for us to take off combining,” said Weeks.

“We did 147 acres of wheat. We got that all combined and into the bins, then we did 60 acres of oats for feed for the bulls. We got a bunch of our crop done into silage, and that went good.”

Aside from some foot rot in calves during the wet weather during the summer, things have been fairly uneventful.

“We could use some rain to fill up the dugouts,” said Weeks.

“There’s still a decent amount of grass, but we could use some rain to green everything up, but I guess (with) everyone harvesting it would be good to not get too much…so they can get all finished.”

Off the farm, things are picking up for Weeks as well.

After three-and-a-half months of no work with his off-farm job as an instrumentation tech, he did an 18-day stint working for another company in the Grand Prairie area.

“At the tail end of that stretch I picked up a job with another company and I went and did an 18-day straight stretch for an oil company,” said Weeks.

“That really helped bridge the gap.”

After his stint away, he was also glad to find that his local off-farm job picked up.

“It’s been steady to busy ever since, and it looks like it’s going to carry on into the fall at least,” said Weeks.

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