2020 Global Pandemics and the Agricultural Workforce: Research and Policy Implications

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. 


SARS-CoV-2: Transmission and Human Health

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

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

Development and Deployment of Farmworker Housing Simulator for COVID-19 Risk Mitigation

Leigh McCue, PhD, from George Mason University, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Facilitating Pandemic Preparedness in Agricultural Industry via COVID-19 Hazard Assessment and Mitigation Plan (CHAMP) e-tool

Session 3: Poster Presentations, Networking and Moderated Discussion

A Public Relations Perspective of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Exploring the Organization-Public Relationship Indicators of the CDC

Ashley McLeod-Morin, University of Florida

Public Perceptions of Food Purchasing Habits and Food Safety Behaviors as they Relate to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Michaela Kandzer, University of Florida

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Fresh Citrus Agricultural Workers and Training Needs in Florida

Christine Kelly-Begazo, Indian River County Extension/University of Florida

Beatrice F. Pierre, University of Florida

Valentina Castano, University of Florida

Fostering Herd Immunity in a Pandemic: An Early Look at Public Willingness to Receive a Vaccine for COVID-19

Shelli Rampold, University of Florida

Stakeholders’ Perceptions about Occupational Health and Safety in the Agricultural Industry

Beatrice F. Pierre, University of Florida

Session 4: Best Practices for Personal Protective Equipment

Sterilization technology

Ying (Sarah) Zhong, PhD, from University of South Florida, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Fit Testing in Agricultural Respirator Communities: Helping Fight the Enemy We Cannot See

Charlotte Halverson, BSN, COHN-S from AgriSafe Network

Session 5: Communicating Science Resources

Communication during COVID-19: Trust in Science, Vaccine Adoption and Cultural Implications

Lauri M. Baker, PhD from University of Florida’s Center for Public Issues Education in Agricultural and Natural Resources (PIE Center)

Farm To You: Necessity as the mother of invention

Danielle Andrews from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Session 6: Economic Implications of Pandemics

COVID-19 and Resilience in Food Supply Chains

David Abler, PhD from Pennsylvania State University, Department of Economics, Sociology and Education

Impact of COVID-19 of Florida’s Agriculture and Marine Industries

Christa Court, PhD from University of Florida, Department of Food and Resources Economics

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

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)