Personal Protection Equipment for Farmers and Agricultural Workers

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News Release:

From:  N.C. Cooperative Extension

           Dalton B. Dockery, County Extension Director

           Lydia Miles, Field Crops Agent

 

State Announces Delivery of Personal Protection Equipment for “Farmers and Agricultural Workers.”

 I am excited to announce that the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is taking further action to prevent and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks among the agricultural workforce, delivering critical personal protection equipment for use by farmers and agricultural workers across the state.

 “Agriculture is vital to our economy and food supply and it is critical that we protect farmworkers and their families from this virus,” said Governor Cooper.

Farmers and farmworkers are deemed an essential workforce and it is imperative that the people who cultivate and harvest North Carolina’s wide variety of crops are protected. To support prevention efforts that are proven to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, NCDHHS is implementing its plan this week to deliver over 900,000 masks and other infection control supplies to Cooperative Extension offices across the state for distribution to farms and agricultural operations. In addition to masks, the deliveries will include hand sanitizer and cloth face coverings for workers to take home.

Thirty-one counties have been selected to receive the first delivery and we are pleased to announce that our county, “Columbus County” is one of the 31 counties that will receive masks, etc. NCDHHS is partnering with N.C. Cooperative Extension, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the NC Department of Labor, and the NC Agromedicine Institute to expedite a delivery plan and raise awareness about this resource among the farming community.

“Some of these supplies have been difficult for farmers to source as demand has exceeded supply. I am grateful that farmworkers and farmers have been prioritized for these much-needed materials,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The health of our farmers and farmworkers is very important because we rely on them every day.”

As always, we at your local N.C. Cooperative Extension in Columbus County are committed to supporting our farmers. We are going to make sure these materials are distributed to our local farmers, farmworkers, farm operations, and agriculture-related services/entities. We have received masks and are expecting hand sanitizer, etc. in the near future.

Currently, because of the COVID-19 our offices are closed to the public, with the exception of making appointments. If you will call our office at 910-640-6605 and provide us with a time that you can come and pick the mask up from our office at 45 Government Complex Rd, Whiteville NC, we will have them ready for you to pick up. Farmers, farmworkers, and agricultural operations can call in starting Monday, July 27, 2020. We will be providing an update, as we receive additional information on supplies and receive deliveries.