Group requests support to offset COVID-19 mitigation costs
NPC and a group of more than 160 farm, food, and agriculture organizations organized as the Agriculture Workforce Coalition sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence on Thurs., Sept. 24 calling for the federal government to do more to help farmers, ranchers, and growers across the country protect their employees from the COVID-19 coronavirus. Pence is head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
“Our farm workers are vital to the success of this industry. Since the ag industry does not have many of these highly specialized resources itself, we need strong partnerships with federal and state agencies to ensure that rigorous testing and protection of this workforce occurs efficiently,” said Kam Quarles, NPC CEO.
The letter asks for help for farmers to “offset the costs of 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.”
The letter also asks for more testing with prompt results, prioritization of PPE, and vaccines for “the food and fiber supply chain.” The full recommendations can be found here.