More than 160 farm groups as part of the Agriculture Workforce Coalition want Commodity Credit Corporation funds to help protect farmworkers. In a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, the coalition says, “We ask for your help as we continue to promote the health and safety of our farm employees and rural communities.” Pence is head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
As part of the group’s recommendations, they suggest the federal government help farmers offset COVID-19 mitigation expenses, while maintaining existing farm programs, by increasing Commodity Credit Corporation funds. These expenses include housing, transportation, retrofitting workplaces, testing, and training and compliance activities, among others. Other recommendations include prioritizing PPE and future vaccine distribution for the food and fiber supply chain, ensure COVID-19 testing resources are accessible to agricultural employers, and allow the use of alternate housing structures, such as FEMA trailers or RV’s to facilitate greater social distancing.
(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)