California's agriculture, labor, transportation and business agencies are commissioning research into issues in the agricultural trucking workforce.

The study will involve surveys and in-depth interviews with at least 500 drivers and address recruitment, retention and pandemic impacts. An economic sociologist from the University of Pennsylvania will lead the effort, in partnership with labor centers at UC Berkeley, Davis and Merced. The research team will also hear from agricultural shippers as well as trucking carriers and visit processing facilities and packing plants.

The final report to the administration will include a set of policy recommendations. According to CDFA Secretary Karen Ross, the study will “help explore ways to make those jobs more desirable.” It will also offer a comparison to broader state and federal issues in the trucking industry.

The nation’s ongoing supply chain crisis has continued to elevate the trucking issues within the Newsom and Biden administrations.