Safety Rules for Tree Fruit Pt 3

Safety Rules for Tree Fruit Pt 3

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Protecting each other, and our employees, from the spread of coronavirus is a major challenge right now. Ag producers are in a particularly tough spot after being given a matter of days, not weeks or months, to comply with the governor’s new order.

Washington State Tree Fruit Association president Jon DeVaney says much of his membership is feeling a bit frazzled …

DeVANEY … “So there have been frustrations and expressions of irritation at times when growers will say, ‘what, another set of rules. Didn’t we just get new guidelines we had to follow last week?’ Anyway, that’s understandable and it is extremely challenging to implement on short notice in a crisis situation. And, to try and write rules that apply in all situations, when agriculture is extremely diverse and they’re trying to do the same thing for multiple industries at the same time.”

It's not, DeVaney says what they’re used to …

DeVANEY … “I remind a lot of our growers that this is not the way we’re used to dealing with government. Most government rules come out after months and months of public comment and proposed rule-making and then you get a lead in time before it takes effect, and in the midst of a crisis the order goes forth and it’s effective immediately, or nearly immediately, and then we find out exactly how to implement it afterwards.”

But, DeVaney says it is the hand they were dealt …

DeVANEY … “And, that’s not ideal and it is challenging, but in a crisis situation that may be how it has to be.”

DeVaney says it’s stressful, but they’re taking the rules seriously and will make it work.

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