To understand the pandemic’s impact on farmworkers and to improve COVID-19 prevention efforts, the Northeast Center and the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety conducted regional surveys on the West Coast and in the Northeast.
The main findings of the farmworker needs assessment include:
· A high rate of personal compliance relating to COVID-19 related PPE usage.
· 12% of respondents reported having health conditions that could lead to more severe health impacts if they contracted COVID-19.
· Almost half of the respondents who answered questions about financial status were worried about getting enough work hours, and 21% were concerned about having enough income to pay bills.
· Most relied on the internet or their employer for preparedness training and personal protective equipment (PPE).
A detailed summary of the Northeast Center’s farmworker needs assessment can be found here.
There have been several other surveys conducted to assess the impact of COVID-19 in farm and ranch communities. These include the Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship, the Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development Program, as well as Farm Bureau surveys to name just a few. However, many of these surveys were focused on the farm owners vs. workers. One exception to this is the Cornell Farmworker Program, which conducted interviews with farmworkers. Findings of these surveys can be found on their organizations’ websites.