April 5, 2020: On Friday April 3, I was asked to call an emergency meeting of the WEMA board to get consensus on supporting a letter from the WI DATCP to the USDA. This letter requested that the Federal Government begin purchasing surplus food commodities and re-open the Daily Margin Coverage program for farmers. Rather than trying to coordinate a meeting before the 3 p.m. deadline on Friday, I decided to poll the WEMA Board by email for their vote on endorsing the letter. The vote was unanimous in support of the endorsement. I sent that endorsement Friday afternoon. I thank the WEMA Board Members for their responsiveness to the email.

Many of us have been in full on Response Mode for 2 weeks now. Prior to that we were meeting with our Public Health partners to get a feel and understanding for what was coming. Now we are seeing it. There have been challenges that when first presented seemed impossible to overcome but with teamwork, collaborative thinking and an ability to adopt and move forward, many of those challenges have been met. Although there have been frustrations, there have been successes too. I too have been bitten by the stress of situation. Every day I tell myself to focus on the successes and work through the challenges. There is no such thing as failure but rather an alternative to our original thought. Be willing to bend, be empathetic to those who are struggling and just as important, be conscious of your own wellbeing. Emergency Managers are known for their tenacity and ingenuity. I encourage all of us to share our solutions and be tenacious and ingenious in doing so.

Keith Hurlbert, WEMA President

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