Agriculture Commissioner publishes advice for the protection of agricultural workers during the COVID-19 crisis

VENTURA, CA – The County of Ventura, in conjunction with the County Executive Office, Farmworker Resource Program, Ventura County Agricultural Bureau, Ventura County Agricultural Association, Reiter Affiliates, Lideres Campesinas in California, Good Farms, Brokaw Ranch and the Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture, issued an advisory for farm worker protection for use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Agriculture is part of Ventura County’s critical infrastructure, and agricultural workers perform essential functions to keep our food supply safe and strong every day. Farms adhere to strict policies related to worker safety and health and every person in the development, growth and production chain is essential to this effort.

“I want to say how grateful I am to all the farmers, farm workers, pest control officers, fresh produce packers and everyone who brings high quality food from our fields and ranches to our communities near and far. . Our food system is essential to the collective health of our county and our nation. Our agricultural workers are essential to keeping the system strong and healthy. This advisory was issued to help ensure our county’s agricultural workers are protected,” said Ventura County Agriculture Commissioner Ed Williams.

The notice provides information on employee hygiene with an emphasis on hand washing, staying home when sick and social distancing to prevent the spread of illness during work activities and breaks. The notice also provides guidance for employers to have soap or sanitizer, potable water and single-use disposable towels available at workplaces and in all facilities. Instructions for routine environmental cleaning in high traffic areas, training and limiting non-essential visits and travel are included in the advisory.

“Our farmworkers are critical to providing food,” said Talia Barrera, Ventura County Farmworker Resource Program Manager. “During this time, we have worked to provide more than 43,000 agricultural workers with important information so that they are informed of the situation and where they can obtain the necessary resources. This awareness is important during this time and has been very important. throughout the year to meet the needs of this large population.

Farmworker Resource Program Coordinators help facilitate quick resolutions to workplace issues such as pay issues and working conditions, navigate services available from public agencies, and leverage resources existing. The program is staffed by two trilingual staff who are familiar with the agricultural industry and serve as outreach resources to agricultural workers and their employers.

The partnerships developed under this program have been helpful in the response and awareness to COVID-19. Educational outreach materials were provided with farm workers’ paychecks, information was provided through WhatsApp which helps community members who cannot read or write, videos were created in multiple languages ​​and new platforms have been developed on social networks to share the message.

Through effective outreach activities, the Farmworker Resource Program has built partnerships between health care, education, social services and many other agencies that serve the farming community. “Building trust and relationships with farmworkers, employers, farmers and advocates has made this program successful in helping solve workplace issues while providing information as they arise. are most needed for basic needs. These partnerships have been very useful in this time of emergency. We work together to help people when they need it most,” said program coordinator Israel Vazquez-Nicolas.

For more information about the Farmworker Resource Program, call (805) 385-1899, email This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.ventura.org/human-services-agency/farmworker-resources/.

For more information on the Agricultural Worker Protection Notice, please contact the Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture at (805) 388-4222, or online at https://www.ventura.org/agricultural-commissioner /.

  • Notice for the protection of agricultural workers during the COVID-19 crisis: see the notice in English | Spanish

For the Spanish version, click here.

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