As agriculture’s efforts to continue to operate as essential businesses, a number of reliable groups have developed great resources that are available online. Here are some useful websites for employers:
USDA Reopens Program Sign-Up to a Larger Share of Producers with Plans to Expand Outreach and New Programming
WASHINGTON, March 24, 2021 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is establishing new programs and efforts to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions. The new initiative—USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers—will reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs. USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion toward the new programs. The Department will also develop rules for new programs that will put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, timber harvesters, as well as provide support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuel, among others. Existing programs like the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will fall within the new initiative and, where statutory authority allows, will be refined to better address the needs of producers.
USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers was needed, said Vilsack, after a review of previous COVID-19 assistance programs targeting farmers identified a number of gaps and disparities in how assistance was distributed as well as inadequate outreach to underserved producers and smaller and medium operations.
“The pandemic affected all of agriculture, but many farmers did not benefit from previous rounds of pandemic-related assistance. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to helping as many producers as possible, as equitably as possible,” said Vilsack. “Our new USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative will help get financial assistance to a broader set of producers, including to socially disadvantaged communities, small and medium sized producers, and farmers and producers of less traditional crops.”
USDA will reopen sign-up for CFAP 2 for at least 60 days beginning on April 5, 2021. The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has committed at least $2.5 million to improve outreach for CFAP 2 and will establish partnerships with organizations with strong connections to socially disadvantaged communities to ensure they are informed and aware of the application process.
The payments announced today under Part 3 will go out under the existing CFAP rules; however, future opportunities for USDA Pandemic Assistance will be reviewed for verified need and during the rulemaking process, USDA will look to make eligibility more consistent with the Farm Bill. Moving forward, USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers will utilize existing programs, such as the Local Agricultural Marketing Program, Farming Opportunities Training and Outreach, and Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, and others to enhance educational and market opportunities for agricultural producers.
Click HERE for more details.
This Plan was developed in June 2020 in accordance with the following: Washington State Department of Labor & Industries – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention in Agriculture and Related Industries – F414-165-000 [04-2020], Washington State Department of Health – Public COVID-19 Guidance: Farm and Agricultural Workers in Washington State, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) – Agriculture Workers and Employers – Interim Guidance from CDC and the U.S. Department of Labor, and Washington State Governor Inslee’s Agricultural COVID-19 Requirements.
This document was created by Nancy Rodriguez – Social Responsibility Manager at Roy Farms, Moxee, WA. Hop Growers of America appreciates the willingness of Roy Farms to serve as a Case Study regarding the implementation of pandemic best practices implementation (to be completed following the 2020 harvest).
USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP2): https://www.farmers.gov/cfap. Deadline to apply is December 11, 2020.
Specialty Crops Producers Can Now Apply for Financial Assistance Through USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (released May 26, 2020) - https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAAMS/bulletins/28d7391
Small Business Administration resources, including Paycheck Protection Program - https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options
On June 4, 2020 CDC published COVID-19 guidance for agricultural workers and employers. You can access the guidance at the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-agricultural-workers.html.
PayneWest Insurance COVID-19 Resource Page provides resources for employers, HR department, employee benefits team or other professionals navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
https://www.fb.org/land/impact-covid19-on-ag (scroll to bottom of the page for a list of resources – this site has some very good info)
https://aghealth.ucdavis.edu/covid19 – They have created a COVID-19 Agricultural Worksite Checklist. Download the pdf below to access this. Check out their site for additional information and resources.
Updated Guidance for Washington Agriculture: On August 28, 2020 Gov. Jay Inslee announced updated guidance for the agricultural industry as part of Washington's Safe Start phased reopening plan. Today's update builds on proclamation 20-57.1 concerning the health of agricultural workers, and on the relief funds announced on August 10. The updates specify what types of licensed health professional can monitor workers during isolation, and clarify that employer-provided monitoring of symptoms is not synonymous with healthcare covered by workers’ compensation. Read the full updated guidance here.
Washington State Agricultural COVID-19 Requirements (new rule effective June 2020)
Washington State Dept. of Health COVID-19 Guidance for Agricultural Workers (updated May 27, 2020)
Washington State Department of Agriculture resources - https://agr.wa.gov/about-wsda/news-and-media-relations/covid-19#information
COVID Farm Toolkit Available: July 21, 2020 - The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (Oregon OSHA), and your local public health authority (LPHA) are encouraging employers in the agriculture sector to proactively make a plan for mitigating the spread of COVID-19. This should include gathering information, displaying education materials, implement physical distancing measures, asses workflow on farm, and be familiar with local resources available to employees. Attached is the COVID Farm Toolkit that provides information and resources to make a plan for your farm.
https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/agriculture/Pages/COVID-19.aspx – Oregon Department of Agriculture resources
The Oregon Hop Commission meeting on May 21, 2020 included a presentation on Coronavirus Precautions for Ag Employers in Oregon. Presenter Bruce Hollcroft, PayneWest Insurance provided handouts which are attached here: Oregon OSHA Fact Sheet; Oregon OSHA Temporary Rules; 2020 Enforcement Delay Memo.
#MaskUpOR Campaign: July 1, 2020 - COVID-19 is spreading at an alarming rate in both rural and urban Oregon. Doctors and public health experts have made it clear that we can reduce the spread of the disease by wearing face coverings while out and about in public. Governor Kate Brown’s office has created a toolkit of nearly 70 social media graphics (click here to access them). There are a wide range of images, themes, and tones, so feel free to use what makes sense for you, your community, and your audience.
The following the link provides resources for Farmers/Producers/Food System workers. It is maintained by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xVIA5XPepoNihoDXB0ETPSppMXGbOo28w-6M9ISTvxQ/edit#heading=h.a53scjr4d5vu
Liberty Building, 32 N 3rd St - Suite 408 \ Yakima, WA 98901 Mail to: P.O. Box 2885 \ Yakima, WA 98907 1.509.453.4749