Taking Care of our Agricultural Workforce
California agriculture is only as strong as the people who work in this industry. Today, I have a few updates related to the people who work in agriculture courtesy of the California Farm Bureau.
Availability of COVID-19 vaccines for farm employees has been increasing in a number of California’s rural counties. Farmers have joined with local health agencies and nonprofits to sponsor vaccination clinics, and to encourage their employees to receive the vaccines. A Fresno County supervisor says the vaccine has had “wide acceptance” among farm employees. Farmers say they have conducted education efforts on vaccine safety.
With a House vote expected later this month on an agricultural immigration bill, farm groups have renewed their support for the measure. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act intends to improve agricultural visa programs and accommodate immigrant farm employees already in the United States. It passed the House of Representatives in 2019 and sponsors have reintroduced it. The California Farm Bureau calls the bill “a top priority” and other farm groups have endorsed it.
Six high school teachers from California have been named finalists for an award that recognizes outstanding agricultural instructors. The Golden Owl Award is sponsored by Nationwide, which presents it in California in partnership with the California Farm Bureau and California FFA. This year’s six California finalists teach agriculture at high schools in Angels Camp, Eureka, Lakeside, Madera, Santa Maria and Tulelake.
(Source: California Farm Bureau Federation)