VIRGINIA (WDVM) — As many businesses have been forced to close, farmers are one of the constants, continuing to meet demands throughout the pandemic.
As fall harvest approaches, Virginia’s farmers, along with farmers nationwide, are entering their busiest time of the year.
This week the Virginia Department of Agriculture recognizes National Farm Safety and Health week. “Every Farmer Counts” is this year’s slogan which focuses on the mental health and stability of farmers as they work in the most dangerous industry.
President Trump recognized the week nationally, putting out a proclamation on Friday, “America’s farmers and agricultural workers are critical to our economy, and concern for their physical and mental safety must remain a top national priority. Together, we must continue to ensure our farmers, ranchers, and foresters have the ability to work safely and effectively as they provide food, fiber, and fuel for our country” said Trump.
According to a 2018 study from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the agricultural sector is the most dangerous industry in America. Farmers also sometimes suffer long-term effects from their daily work including hearing loss, lung disease, skin disease, various cancers and high stress according to VDACS.
In a statement, VDACS Commissioner, Jewel Bronaugh said, “In addition to the physical challenges of farming, severe weather, low commodity prices, trade issues, increased debt and the coronavirus have added to the weight our farmers must bear.”
This week is dedicated to thank our farmers for the risks they take to bring food to our tables.