Rural Farming and Vaccinations

Beef farmer Randy Rice of Rice Centennial Farms shares his vaccination story.

Randy Rice, owner of Rice Centennial Farm in Benzie County, Michigan

Nestled in Benzie County, Michigan, is a beef cattle farm that has been operating since 1905. The Rice Centennial Farm is now run by Randy Rice, a fifth-generation farmer. Randy says that he has been farming all his life. “It's just a lot of joy because you are out in nature; you're doing what you love to do.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Rice Centennial Farm was impacted by the consequences of less dining out and consumer shopping. Randy says that “during the pandemic when COVID struck, the worries are always how I'm going to be able to sell my product. Contact with people was the concern, and if I don't stay healthy, then my farm isn't going to continue as long as I'd like it to. So, it's important for farmers to be healthy too.” Vaccines are an important tool for keeping farmers safe and keeping farms running. Randy says that he remembers when he was younger he needed to get vaccinated to go to school. So, when the COVID-19 vaccine came out, he didn’t question getting it. Randy saw the vaccine as a way to keep himself and his family safe so they could all gather again and start to enjoy life together. He also stressed the importance of open dialogue when it comes to healthcare decisions. “By all means, talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions. They are there to help you make the right decision for your own health.”

Randy also stresses the importance of vaccinating to help not only you and your family, but the community as well. Rice said, “we've been vaccinated most all of our adult life from when we were children. Why wouldn't you get this? Let's help everybody out. Let's try to do good for everybody. It's for people that you love. It's for people in general. You don't want to go out sick with COVID and six people catch it by you coughing in the store. Then, those people may pass it on or worse; they may pass away. So, it's just important to get vaccinated.” 

Help finding a doctor:

If you need help finding a doctor, try searching for primary care physicians in your area that are highly recommended, search your insurance provider’s website for doctors in your network, or ask for recommendations from friends and neighbors. There are also search engines that can help you narrow your search based on region and specialty needed.

Where can you find vaccines?

To find a vaccine, check with your primary care physician, local health departments, pharmacies, and clinics. You can also visit to locate a vaccine clinic near you.

If you would like to learn more about vaccines, check out Michigan State University Extension’s partnership with the Michigan Vaccine Project to find links to event schedules, podcasts, publications, webinars, and videos relating to vaccine education.


Did you find this article useful?