Farmworker Pandemic Safety Campaign Launched


Foundation Encourages Farmworkers to Keep Themselves and Their Families Safe During the Pandemic


Delano, CA – The California Farmworker Foundation has launched a new campaign, La Seguridad Empieza con Usted, which translates to Safety Starts with You, to help the farmworker community stay safe through the pandemic by providing encouragement for best practices and information on additional resources. The campaign will reach farmworkers in the greater Bakersfield and Fresno growing regions.

Advertisements on Spanish-language radio will encourage farmworkers to visit the foundation Facebook page for ways to stay safe during the pandemic. On the foundation Facebook page are messages that encourage safe practices during a pandemic, dispel myths about the pandemic, and provide tips for increased safety measures in daily life. These messages will continue throughout the campaign.

“The health of farmworkers and their families is just as essential as their work to keep the world fed,” said Hernan Hernandez, California Farmworker Foundation executive director. “Farming operations have adopted safety procedures to keep workers safe on the job. This campaign provides our communities with more Spanish-language information and resources about the pandemic, including the dispelling of COVID-19 myths, to better educate everyone on the need to make safe choices in their personal lives.”

This campaign is an expansion of work that the foundation has already been doing to keep the community safe during the pandemic, including distributing PPE, combatting food insecurity, and providing virtual medical consultations. The foundation has a free hotline for farmworkers to call seeking additional information on ways to stay safe during the pandemic. The number is 661-446-4077.

The farmworker safety campaign is supported by the California Fresh Fruit Association and California Table Grape Commission.



California Agriculture Reeling From Pandemic

Pandemic Continues to Affect California Agriculture

By Tim Hammerich with The AgInformation Network of the West

Through this challenging time for all of us, we have been bringing you weekly roundups of how the pandemic is affecting agriculture around the state. We have a few more of these stories here for you again today.

Most farmers responding to a California Farm Bureau survey reported they had lost sales or customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the voluntary survey, 57% said they had seen sales drop, mainly due to stay-at-home orders that reduced restaurant demand. Another 42% of respondents to the survey said they or a family member had seen their off-farm income decline.

The economic impacts of the pandemic include a drop in home construction, which has hurt sales of timber. One California sawmill operator says he has had to cut production in half as a result. Though housing starts have dropped, market analysts say lumber sales at home-improvement stores have been rising, as people take on remodeling projects, including conversion of rooms into home offices.

The flow of U.S. farm exports to China has increased since the two nations signed a “Phase 1” trade agreement in January, but an American Farm Bureau Federation analysis says sales to China have so far not kept pace with commitments in the agreement. The COVID-19 pandemic has played a role, AFBF says, in part because it has slowed U.S. meat processing for export.

(Source: California Farm Bureau)