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Local farmers and ranchers in Utah struggle due to coronavirus

(Stock photo Pixabay)

MORONI, Utah — Farmers and ranchers across the country are struggling as the coronavirus is affecting everything from their workforce to the markets they sell to.

Wade Eliason has been a sheep rancher for decades in Moroni, Utah.

In a video posted to the Utah Farm Bureau’s Facebook page, Eliason said he usually gets two paychecks. One is for wool.

“There is no wool market at this time. Because of the difficulties of the coronavirus, everything’s shut down. We’re unable to get our wool cort tested to sell,” Eliason said.

The other paycheck comes from raising lambs. However, business is down there as well.

“The lamb market is struggling as a result of the coronavirus,” Eliason said.

He is also having trouble finding people to work on the ranch.

“As sheep farmers and ranchers, we rely on foreign workers. This year our workers were all ready to return back to work and be able to support their families in Peru. They were [within] five days [of] being able to come, and they were shut down…because of the Coronavirus,” Eliason said.

The longtime rancher is proud of his daughters for stepping up and helping during this difficult time.

He also thinks it’s a good reminder about the importance of local agriculture.

“We would challenge you to recognize your local farmers and recognize the importance agriculture has in our state economy and in our personal lives. As we rely on a domestic food supply, it has made our lives so much simpler. If we were relying on a foreign food supply, can you imagine how more complicated our world would be at this time?” Eliason said.


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States