State of the Science
Learn about SCCAHS's Global Pandemic and the Agricultural Workforce State of the Science Meeting hosted online on September 11 and 18, 2020.

The Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety hosted the  2020 State of the Science Meeting focused on Global Pandemics and the Agricultural Workforce: Research and Policy Implications on Friday, Sept. 11 and Sept. 18, 2020. The meeting was delivered via Zoom.

Hosted by the Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (SCCAHS) headquartered at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, the annual State of the Science Meeting combined esteemed speakers to present research relevant to occupational safety and health needs of people working in agriculture, fishing, and forestry in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

State of the Science 2020 featured researchers and scientists from various fields from across the United States, who presented their findings on COVID-19 and its impact on agricultural workers and farmers and paved the way for future research collaborations that can address the long-lasting effects this pandemic will have on the industry. 

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2020 State of the Science Meeting Agenda:

Friday, Sept. 11, 2020

11:00 – 11:15 a.m. 

Welcome from Scott Angle, Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources at University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences 

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Session 1: Opening Keynote by Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety Director

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SARS-CoV-2: Transmission and Human Health presented by J. Glenn Morris, Jr., MD, MPH&TM, from University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogen Institute and the Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety 

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12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m. 

Session 2: Risk Assessment and Mitigation e-tools: Modeling Physical Distancing and Exposure Control 

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Development and Deployment of Farmworker Housing Simulator for COVID-19 Risk Mitigation presented by Leigh McCue, PhD, from George Mason University, Department of Mechanical Engineering

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Facilitating Pandemic Preparedness in Agricultural Industry via COVID-19 Hazard Assessment and Mitigation Plan (CHAMP) e-tool presented by Melissa Millerick-May, PhD, MSC from Michigan State University, Department of Medicine, Extension, Environmental Health and Safety

1:00 – 1:45 p.m. 

Session 3: Poster Presentations, Networking and Moderated Discussion

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Poster 1: Ashley McLeod-Morin, University of Florida: A Public Relations Perspective of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Exploring the Organization-Public Relationship Indicators of the CDC

Poster 2: Michaela Kandzer, University of Florida: Public Perceptions of Food Purchasing Habits and Food Safety Behaviors as they Relate to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Poster 3: Christine Kelly-Begazo, Indian River County Extension/University of Florida: COVID-19 Safety Measures for Fresh Citrus Agricultural Workers and Training Needs in Florida

Poster 4: Valentina Castano, University of Florida: Public Perceptions Regarding Cultural and Racial Issues Impacted by COVID-19 in the U.S. 

Poster 5: Shelli Rampold, University of Florida: Fostering Herd Immunity in a Pandemic: An Early Look at Public Willingness to Receive a Vaccine for COVID-19

Poster 6: Beatrice F. Pierre, University of Florida: Stakeholders’ Perceptions about Occupational Health and Safety in the Agricultural Industry

1:50 – 2:00 p.m. 

Closing Remarks


Friday, Sept. 18

11:00 a.m. – 11:35 a.m. 

Session 4: Best Practices for Personal Protective Equipment

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Sterilization technology presented by Ying (Sarah) Zhong, PhD, from University of South Florida, Department of Mechanical Engineering

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Fit Testing in Agricultural Respirator Communities: Helping Fight the Enemy We Cannot See presented by Charlotte Halverson, BSN, COHN-S from AgriSafe Network

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11:40 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 

Session 5: Communicating Science Resources

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Communication during COVID-19: Trust in Science, Vaccine Adoption and Cultural Implications presented by Lauri M. Baker, PhD from University of Florida’s Center for Public Issues Education in Agricultural and Natural Resources (PIE Center)

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Farm To You: Necessity as the mother of invention presented by Danielle Andrews from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

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12:20 p.m. – 12:55 p.m. 

Session 6: Economic Implications of Pandemics

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COVID-19 and Resilience in Food Supply Chains presented by David Abler, PhD from Pennsylvania State University, Department of Economics, Sociology and Education

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Impact of COVID-19 of Florida’s Agriculture and Marine Industries presented by Christa Court, PhD from University of Florida, Department of Food and Resources Economics

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1:00 – 1:45 p.m. 

Session 7: Agricultural Centers Roundtable – Impacts of COVID-19 on Extension Agents 

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Sebastian Galindo, PhD, from the University of Florida and Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety

Athena K. Ramos, PhD, MBA, MS, CPM from the University of Nebraska and Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health

Shannon Sampson, PhD, from the University of Kentucky, Department of Education Policy Studies and Evaluation & Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention (SCAHIP)

1:50 – 2:00 p.m. 

Closing Remarks