The University of California, Davis, have launched a farmworker COVID safety project with a multitude of partners. Funded by a $3 million contract, the COVID-19 Statewide Agriculture and Farmworker Education Program aims to provide much-needed resources to the industry. The project aims to better protect California’s 800,000 farmworkers from COVID risks.
“We’re really excited about this opportunity to partner with UC Davis. This is a contract through the California Labor Workforce Development Agency,” said Theresa Kiehn, President, and CEO of AgSafe. “In this project, AgSafe is going to be providing employer resources. That’s really where we wanted to focus our time and effort. We’re creating three things out of this project over the next six months.”
The farmworker COVID safety project is being led by the UC Davis Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety. Multiple industry and community organizations are contributing to the effort. AgSafe will be establishing an informational clearinghouse complete with videos and safety training resources. A train-the-trainer program related to COVID protection is also in development. AgSafe will also be creating a safety flipchart for supervisors.
Outreach and training through the overall program will be particularly focused on regions with high agricultural employment. The farmworker COVID safety project efforts will be especially active in the Central Valley, and areas of the southern and central coast. Resources will cover COVID-related workplace safety standards and help industry members improve safety protocols in their operations.
“What’s great about this project is we understand ag and the challenges and unique issues that our industry faces. So, all these resources are going to be geared towards ag employers and our workforce,” said Kiehn. “We’re really tailoring the information to make sure it hits on the topics and the issues that our ag employers have told us about and making sure that we are incorporating those.”