HELENA — Many Ag producers are dealing with uncertainty right now, as COVID-19 spreads across the country.
One barley farmer's malt business is on standby, but he's helping other essential workers get the equipment they need.
Making malt is Ryan Pfeifle's passion.
But right now, the Power-based farmer says demand for the product is down.
"I got a lot of malt inventory, and none of the breweries are really making beer..."
While his malting machine might be quiet right now, Pfeifle is starting up another.
"I'm one of those people that just loves to build."
With his 3-D printer, he's creating masks for healthcare providers in the area.
"I saw the call from the clinic in Great Falls."
So far, he's created about 10 masks and 30 face shields, joining a group of people across the state, who are stepping up to help hospitals.
The face shields are actually just binder sheets from Staples.
He plans to keep going until he runs out of material.
"My hope is they don't need any of my gear. I hope they get the gear they need. But it's always good to have a backup."
Pfeifle says he can make two face shields every three and a half hours.