Ag Workforce Vaccination Push Pt 1

Ag Workforce Vaccination Push Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. A year into the pandemic, and as harvest season quickly approaches, the agriculture community seems confident it’s more adequately prepared to protect and maintain the health of farm workers.

Jon DeVaney, President of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, believes vaccinations are now a priority for everyone …

DeVANEY … “There has been a lot of concern around the agricultural workforce because we know that when the pandemic began they were folks that could not telework, you know, you need to be on site, you need to be working together with your colleagues to get harvest done and to get food packed and processed. And that sometimes requires being in proximity.”

Another plus, DeVaney says is that protective gear is more readily available …

DeVANEY … “A year ago, there was not enough PPE to adequately protect workers and we saw some initial outbreaks in agriculture that were really concerning. We do now have the PPE and the procedures in place so that we have not really seen the kind of frequent outbreaks that happened at the very beginning of the pandemic.”

But, DeVaney says the vaccine this year is key …

DeVANEY … “There is still strong desire to protect the workforce from exposure and the vaccine now offers up a real long-term solution to that need.”

Listen tomorrow for more on the need to work quickly in 2021 in order to get the ag workforce protected from COVID-19.

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