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In the grand scheme of things-farmers matter

By: Jake Putnam
Published in Video on  May 07, 2020
WEISER - In the grand scheme of things, farming is more important now than ever. They're not in limelight, and in this time of COVID-19, they're quietly planting their crops and getting the job done. 

"I'm Tristan Winegar, Tristan Winegar farms and today we are planting dark red kidney beans," said Winegar.

An early May planting is way ahead of normal planting schedule, according to the Weiser farmer.

"This is early for our area, usually we shoot for May 15th to avoid the late freezes and the cool soil temperatures. Soil temperature is 57-degrees in the morning and its 61-ish in the afternoon so its all good.," said Winegar.
In this pandemic year, everything is different says Winegar, including the weather. "It's been dry and warm, so it has been a different year. We were planting beats as early as March 2nd and that's extremely early. Some beets froze but a lot of them made it," added Winegar.

With long lines at grocery stores and some shortages, farmers are enjoying unprecedented respect.

"We're just doing what we love, number one, but also our job. To us its a duty thing. It's our job to get up when no one else wants to get up and get dirty when no one wants to and get the job done. It's the way its been forever and the way it's going to be," said Winegar. In the time of the great pandemic, little has changed on the farm.

"With farming, we are kind of disconnected from the whole quarantine because we are out here working. It doesn't matter if we were quarantined or not, We'd be out planting, branding, doing everything that farmers and ranchers do, just to get the job done. Because for us, timing is everything. Everything has to be done on time and done right," said Winegar.

With the best and cheapest food supply in the world, Winegar voiced what farmers have known for decades. 

"I think that society had disconnected a lot about from where our food comes from. Kids will tell you it comes from the grocery stores. Where does milk come from? The refrigerator, they don't understand. I think this quarantine thing has been a reality check for people because they are starting to see and understand what goes into their food. We hear stories about those who say 'I can teach anybody to farm,' you can't. It's not something you just learn, it's not by the book. Every year is different. This year with everything being dry, its different. So we have to adapt, do things differently and, learn how to do things better. This is one of the ways we do it and I think its starting to show and people are starting to realize what goes into eating, their meals morning none and night, this is it," said Winegar.

In the time of COVID-19, hero-worship has shifted, said Winegar. "In the grand scheme of things sports don't really matter if there's nothing to eat," he said.

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