This Coronavirus crisis has taught us a lot in the last weeks, but one lesson we didn’t really need to learn is how important the workforce is in any agricultural operation. We all know just how important a quality workforce is, and how important good sanitation is, and always has been to our customers. Our farms live or die on the quality of our workers, and they are more important now than ever during this time.
Our farmworkers continue to show up for work and go into the fields. It’s the hands of our essential workers that are tending the crops to keep feeding families across the state and around the country. California agriculture is vitally important any time, but now, with the fear of disrupted food supply chains and the specter of food shortages, a strong agricultural community is more important than ever. And California farmers are standing tall, continuing to feed the cities and the world, in spite of the challenges of working through a pandemic.
Worker safety and food safety go hand-in-hand, and growers and workers are being extra vigilant on all fronts and taking extra precautions. Many of the keys to limiting the spread of Coronavirus – such as good hygiene and sanitation – are already an important part of the daily routine of our work force. Even so, health and sanitation practices in the fields and packing facilities have been stepped up with frequent retraining and vigilance by our managers.
We all thank and applaud those managers and workers, and are very grateful for their continued service during this difficult time. It’s something that all Californians – indeed, all Americans – need to appreciate. Ag Workers, Thank you for your service.
About the Author
Len Wilcox is a retired scientist who also ran a newspaper and has written for agricultural publications since the 1980s. He was a regular contributor to California Farmer Magazine. His commentary “The Western View” is a regular feature on Farm City Newsday and AgNet West.