SALEM, OREGON, April 29, 2020: Farm and ranch families care deeply about the health and wellbeing of their employees, but the new OR-OSHA rules give only 11 days’ notice to make significant changes to farm infrastructure and practices. Oregon Farm Bureau is concerned that certain rules require changes in agricultural workplaces that are not attainable by farm and ranch families because there are considerable supply chain issues that make complying with these rules impossible.
The rules also reduce the amount of available housing for farm employees, including in rural areas where there are no viable alternative lodging options available. Oregon should be creating more opportunities for shelter and housing at this time, not less.
Moreover, farmers and ranchers are already under tremendous economic pressure after years of lower prices received, and now they are facing additional hardship from the pandemic. Many farms will not survive the cumulative weight of these unattainable rules, which are more burdensome than any set for other sectors of Oregon’s economy.
Click https://bit.ly/2yTdfhe to see a PDF that includes OFB’s substantive comments on the petition, the OFB agricultural employer guidance, and a quote from a toilet/sink distributor that highlights the supply chain difficulties occurring now.
See OFB’s COVID-19 resource page for farmers and ranchers: https://oregonfb.org/covid19/
* Note to Editors: “Farm Bureau” is a registered trademark; please capitalize in all cases.
Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) is a grassroots, nonpartisan, nonprofit, general farm organization representing the interests of farming and ranching families in the public and policymaking arenas. First established in Oregon at the county level in 1919 and the state level in 1932, Farm Bureau is organized in all 36 counties.
Oregon Farm Bureau President Barb Iverson comes from a multigenerational family farm from Woodburn, raising industrial hemp, grass seed, squash, vetch seed, hazelnuts, wine and table grapes, and operating the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, which attracts over 160,000 visitors each year. Iverson is OFB’s 17th president.