Ag employers could get reimbursements for purchasing protective equipment for farmworkers through a new provision in Congress. Calif. Rep. Jimmy Panetta introduced such an amendment Monday to the House agricultural appropriations bill.

An emergency program would task the USDA Farm Service Agency with administering reimbursements to producers, processors and other ag employers to cover the cost of PPE and other safety measures for their employees. The costs would also include purchasing test kits, thermometers, disinfectant, handwashing stations and educational materials.

“We risk a significant impact on the safety and wellbeing of our farmworkers and their families, let alone our food supply chains, if they are not provided with adequate protections,” said Panetta.