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Business Leaders Address Impact of Pandemic on Hea

Media Center:Business Leaders Address Impact of Pandemic on Health Care, Transportation and Agriculture

Last Updated: 12/10/2020 4:02 PM

Business Leaders Address Impact of Pandemic on Health Care, Transportation and Agriculture

The Iowa Bankers Association concluded its Leaders Speaker Series this week with a business leaders panel that included executives Ben McLean (Ruan Transportation), Bob Ritz (Mercy Health Network), and Tim Glenn (Corteva Agriscience). As experts in the areas of health care, transportation and agriculture the panelists each gave an update on the state of their respective industries and how they have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ritz addressed the state of health care in Iowa and said the U.S. is “across midfield” in regards to the pandemic, with vaccines nearly ready to distribute. He also said that health care providers have learned a lot over the course of the pandemic and noted that there is now confidence that health care providers can now take care of both patients infected with COVID-19 along with patients with other illnesses or ailments. From an economic standpoint, he said a lot of clarity will be available by the end of March.

McLean noted the pandemic’s uneven impact as different sectors have had different experiences. He noted that Ruan has tried to serve customers as best as they can, but said the industry is tight right now with not enough drivers to match demand, as there is an elevated amount of freight that needs to be delivered.

Glenn gave an overview on the year’s impact on agriculture. He said the pandemic hit the U.S. at a critical time as farmers were getting ready to begin their planting, but praised Corteva’s efforts to help ensure that farmers would get their crops planted. With many industries, including meatpacking and ethanol, having to either shut down or implement considerable cuts in production, the pandemic had very negative impacts on the industry early on. He also said production was negatively impacted by the drought and the derecho that hit Iowa in early August. Over the last 60 days, however, he said there has been a rebound in commodity prices, due to demand. That, combined with government assistance, has helped farm income reach record high levels this year.

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