Greta Rybus

Farmers Respond to COVID-19
Location: Portland, Maine
Nationality: USA
Biography: Greta Rybus is a full-time freelance photojournalist specializing in editorial portraiture, travel and documentary photography. She has a special interest in understanding human connections to the natural world. She is currently based in... read on
Public Story
Farmers Respond to COVID-19
Maine farms are tightly networked, connected with each other and their broader communities through social ties. They are also small and highly diverse. These features — small- and medium-size farms, growing a diverse array of crops — are critical to Maine’s food system. But it is the community ties that are revealed in a crisis.
Dennis explains, “We’ve seen throughout the state, groups of farmers coming together to figure out how to support their community. That social connection leads to fast adaptability and resiliency, which arguably is more sustainable as we go into these unknown times.”
“Maine’s people are rallying around its farmers and producers because they understand not only how important our local farmers are, but how critical it is to support their businesses,” says Amanda Beal, Maine’s commissioner of agriculture, conservation, and forestry.
As COVID-19 reveals the risks of relying on global supply chains, perhaps this is an opportunity to look anew at local food systems. “In Maine, we have been working deliberately for decades to build a vibrant local food system,” Beal says, “and that work benefits us now, as our farmers are playing an important role in making sure that people can access the food they need in a time of crisis.”
New work for Buzzfeed News, about how small-scale farmers have responded to COVID-19, pivoting and adjusting their business models to feed their communities, written by Kate Olson.
All images © Greta Rybus for Buzzfeed News