The Quarterly: Keeping Us Connected, Our Lights On, and Our Pantries Full

By Tanner Ehmke , Jeff Johnston , Dan Kowalski and Christina Pope

April 2, 2020

CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange division has released its quarterly report, Keeping Us Connected, Our Lights On, and Our Pantries Full. Previously known as the Quarterly U.S. Rural Economic Review, the report continues to provide economic insights into the industries financed by CoBank in a more succinct format.

The first quarter has seen life, as we know it, turned upside down. COVID-19 has brought the U.S. economy to a screeching halt, ushering in a recession in the process. For most businesses, the sudden stop to the economy is more jolting than the financial crisis of 2008 and has forced hard, immediate decisions about employees and finances. COVID-19 has also underscored the critically important nature of agriculture and other industries essential to rural America.

While the pandemic is disrupting labor, supply chains and consumer behavior, other events and factors are shifting the business climate. Ethanol continues to navigate intense stressors. For rural telecom, federal support is coming to help with rip and replace of equipment but challenges remain.

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