Extension forum offers guidance and support on COVID-19 workplace protections

Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, shown speaking in this file photo, will provide guidance on COVID-19 workplace protection for the July 30 Penn State Extension Grower Forum. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The fourth in a series of Penn State Extension grower forums on “Protecting Essential Agricultural Business Operations and Employee Health during COVID-19” will be held at 6:30 p.m. on July 30.

Russell Redding, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture secretary, and Sheri Morris, assistant director in the Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services, will lead this hourlong forum offering guidance and support for workplace protection during COVID-19. 

They will discuss how, from the early days of COVID-19, the Department of Agriculture has worked in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Department of Agriculture to help the agriculture-food industry to be designated as essential and continue to operate. 

That business and worker-protection guidance proved to be critical to helping to keep commerce flowing and agriculture/food employers and their employees safe. Redding and Morris will review how the department has incorporated a review of worker-protection practices and mitigation measures during routine inspections and has offered recommendations for improvements based on best practices.

The discussion also will include worker housing. The Bureau of Food Safety, as part of its permitting and inspection responsibilities of all Pennsylvania housing for agricultural workers, works in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Worker guidance and requirements from those agencies will be discussed. 

Brook Duer, a Penn State Agricultural Law staff attorney, will participate as a question-and-answer panelist. 

The webinar is offered at no cost; however, registration is required to receive the webinar link. To register, visit the website or call 877-345-0691. There is an option to call into the forum by phone to listen for those unable to access the internet.

About Penn State Extension

Penn State Extension is a modern educational organization, dedicated to translating scientific research into real-world applications to drive progress. In support of Penn State's land-grant mission, extension programs promote a vibrant food and fiber system, a clean environment and a healthier population for Pennsylvania and beyond. 

Penn State Extension serves individuals, businesses and communities, helping them address problems and realize opportunities through a robust portfolio of educational programs, products and services. With support from federal, state and county governments, the organization has a tradition of bringing unbiased information and support to the citizens of Pennsylvania for more than 100 years.

Last Updated July 24, 2020