Cal/OSHA is reminding employers that California’s protection from wildfire smoke standard is still in effect, and they must take steps to protect their workers from harmful exposure to unhealthy air due to wildfire smoke.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that additional commodities are covered by the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) in response to public comments and data. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the deadline to apply for the program to September 11th, and producers with approved applications will receive their final payment. After reviewing over 1,700 responses, even more farmers and ranchers will have the opportunity for assistance to help keep operations afloat during these tough times.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced changes for emergency haying and grazing use of acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This includes changes outlined in the 2018 Farm Bill that streamlines the authorization process for farmers and ranchers.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act provides an additional payment of $600 per week to individuals receiving unemployment insurance (UI) benefits through July of 2020. This provision would continue supplemental payments of $200 per week for weeks of unemployment through September. Starting in October, this payment would be replaced with a payment (up to $500) that, when combined with the state UI payment, would replace 70 percent of lost wages—either via a formula specified in the bill or by a state proposing an alternative method and receiving approval from the Secretary.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced an initial list of additional commodities that have been added to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), and that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made other adjustments to the program based on comments received from agricultural producers and organizations and review of market data.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today posted an updated and expanded technical assistance publication addressing questions arising under the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The California Department of Public Health today released updated guidance that requires Californians to wear a face covering in high-risk settings. A growing body of scientific research has shown that people with no or few symptoms of COVID-19 can still spread the disease and that the use of face coverings, combined with physical distancing and frequent hand washing, will reduce the spread of COVID-19.
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will broaden the use of the Disaster Set-Aside (DSA) loan provision, normally used in the wake of natural disasters, to allow farmers with USDA farm loans who are affected by COVID-19, and are determined eligible, to have their next payment set aside. In some cases, FSA may also set aside a second payment for farmers who have already had one payment set aside because of a prior designated disaster.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
As the California State Senate returns to the Capitol and resumes session this week, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), along with Senators Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), and Robert M. Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles), unveiled the Senate Democratic Caucus’ proposal for the state budget and California’s economic recovery.
Governor issues Report Card on state’s progress in fighting COVID-19. Governor’s Report Card indicates California will be prepared to move into the early phase of Stage 2 of reopening this Friday, May 8. Stage 2 allows gradual reopening of lower-risk workplaces with adaptations including bookstores, clothing stores, florists and sporting goods stores, with modifications.
Governor Gavin Newsom, alongside California Department of Public Health Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell, today laid out an update on California’s Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience, which discusses how the state is planning its path forward – in phases based on science, health and data.
Applications will begin in May for $16 billion in federal aid for farmers and ranchers who have suffered losses due to market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue saying he hopes the assistance can be distributed by the end of May.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak today announced their respective states are joining California, Oregon and Washington in the Western States Pact – a working group of Western state governors with a shared vision for modifying stay at home orders and fighting COVID-19.
On April 20, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS published a temporary final rule to amend certain H-2A requirements to help U.S. agricultural employers avoid disruptions in lawful agricultural-related employment, protect the nation’s food supply chain, and lessen impacts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.
The Department of Homeland Security announced temporary rule changes to H-2A worker regulations which will allow companies to employ temporary foreign farmworkers quicker and longer than previously possible.
Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order to support California workers from large employers in the food sector industry impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with two weeks of paid sick leave, filling a gap left by federal relief that had provided similar paid leave benefits for employers with fewer than 500 workers.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is easing country-of-origin requirements to allow fresh produce that has been packed for foodservice operators to be diverted to retailers as demand shifts during the pandemic.
All sectors of agriculture, including produce, specialty crops and horticulture, will be included in a $16 billion direct payment plan to be submitted to the White House this week by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. The secretary also told Farm Journal Live that the plan will also include $2-3 billion in food purchases to be send to the nation’s food banks.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is committed to providing flexibilities to support the nation’s food supply and will continue to take steps to meet challenges due to the COVID-19 national emergency.
California lawmakers have proposed a "first-in-the-nation" relief package targeting the state's one million essential farmworkers, many who risk their health to put food on the nation's tables and grocery store shelves amid the coronavirus pandemic.
With California farms facing labor shortages, grocers experiencing empty shelves because of logistical bottlenecks, and many of the state's up to one million farmworkers lacking access to health care, Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) today introduced legislation to protect the health, safety, and economic security of agricultural workers and prevent disruptions to the nation’s food supply.
Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20), along with Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI-06), Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA-16) and Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01) led 108 members of the House of Representatives in sending a bipartisan letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue calling for the Administration to provide direct support to specialty crop producers the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is implemented.
UnitedAg, along with several dozen other agricultural associations throughout California, have jointly signed and sent a letter sent to Governor Newsom to formally request a pause for all open public comment periods concerning both active rulemakings and non-rulemaking processes that affect the agricultural industry.
The Department of State is taking steps to reduce delays in the processing of H-2A workers caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department of State suspended routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates on March 20. While some returning H-2A workers were processed after that date, industry leaders were alarmed about potential delays in H-2A worker availability.
This document announces the decision of the Secretary of Homeland Security to temporarily limit the travel of individuals from Mexico into the United States at land ports of entry along the United States-Mexicoborder to “essential travel” as further defined in this document.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to help facilitate the identification of foreign and domestic workers that may be available and eligible to transfer to other U.S. agricultural sector employers to fulfill critical workforce needs within the U.S. under existing regulatory authority during the COVID-19 pandemic.