Protecting farmworkers, economy during COVID-19

Protecting the health and safety of North Carolina’s farm workers amid COVID-19 is imperative not only for their well-being, but also to preserve the state’s agricultural community, population and economy.North Carolina State University Extension leveraged partnerships with North Carolina Agromedicine Institute and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to quickly provide equipment and education to farms and workers. Critical supplies of masks, personal protective equipment, thermometers, cleaning supplies, gloves and educational materials were distributed at special events for farmers. All personal protective equipment came with educational materials to be posted on-farm and given to workers to promote proper usage and prevention strategies.County Extension offices received supplies and held distribution events for farmers. The massive effort involved multiple pallets of materials arriving in counties for distribution.Approximately 585,970 masks were distributed along with pallets of hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and toiletries for farm workers. Protecting the people who grow and harvest food in North Carolina from COVID-19 is essential to agricultural production, ensuring a safe and healthy food supply and protecting the state’s economy.

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