Many ag jobs got designated “essential” at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. A year later, masks and other safety precautions have become common in fields and packing houses. Food continues to move from the farm to the consumer. But impacts on the people making that happen have been significant.
President-elect Joe Biden is out with a $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal that includes some significant new food assistance provisions, including an extension through the summer of the 15% increase in SNAP benefits provided by the COVID aid package enacted in December.
The Trump administration is unlikely to make a needed fix to tax regulations for farmer co-operatives, leaving many growers at risk of seeing higher tax bills, according to the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.
Recent years of financial stress and trade disruption in agriculture, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, produced new challenges for farmer-owned agricultural coops and have prompted many to rethink their business models.
Restaurants across the country are working hard to get back to normal, farmers have lost valuable food service markets and a growing number of unemployed workers struggle to purchase food because of COVID-19.
An executive order expected to be signed Tuesday at the White House would call on meatpacking plants to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic, but critics say it is forcing workers back into a dangerous environment.