WFB, WAFLA Sue State Over Emergency COVID Rules

Earlier this month, the Washington Farm Bureau and WAFLA filed suit against the state of Washington for continually using emergency regulations during the coronavirus pandemic, rather than going through the legal rule making process. John Stuhlmiller, Farm Bureau CEO said by continually using emergency rules, farmers had to address provisions that were not fair or […]

Washington Ag Community Warns No Action By Lawmakers Could Destroy Farm Economy

When the Washington Supreme court ruled in November that farm workers should receive time-and-a-half pay for work over 40 hours per week, it opened a bit of a Pandora’s Box. In their ruling, the High Court did not indicate if farm workers could seek retroactive pay for the previous three years, which has already triggered […]

Farmworkers Speak Out Against 2020 Overtime Ruling

In November, the Washington Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the state’s overtime exemption violated Washington employment laws. With that ruling, Washington granted farm workers time-and-a-half pay once they work more than 40 hours in a week. However, many of those impacted workers are speaking out against the court’s decision and calling on lawmakers to reinstate […]

Newhouse, Others Call On USDA To Provide Farmers With COVID-19 Funding

Last week, Representatives Dan Newhouse, Jimmy Panetta, Jim Costa and others led 70 colleagues writing a bipartisan letter to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue and the USDA, calling on him to spend specific funding to protect Ag workers. The letter calls on Perdue to make at least $1.5 billion of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 available […]

Meat Worker COVID-19 Cases Five Times Lower than June

A new analysis of independent data for 2020 shows that new COVID-19 infection rates amongst meat and poultry workers were five times lower in December than in May. Meanwhile, rates in the general population rocketed up nine times in the same period. According to data from the Food and Environment Reporting Network, the meat and […]

Federal Judge Rejects USDA Changes to H-2A Program

A federal court in California issued a preliminary injunction against the Labor Department’s decision to freeze farm workers’ wages for those that use the H-2A Program. Fruit and Nut Grower News said the freeze would effectively lower the wages of several hundred thousand guest farm workers employed in the United States. A preliminary injunction was […]

Dilley: OT Ruling The Latest Challenge Put Before Washington Dairy Farmers

Last week, the Washington Supreme Court ruled farmworkers must receive overtime pay, thus eliminating an exemption from the state’s minimum wage law the Ag industry has used for decades. The ruling will have a deep and direct impact on the Washington dairy industry. And according to Scott Dilley Communication Director for the state dairy federation, […]

YVC Awarded $2.1M To Help Farm Workers Students

Yakima Valley College recently received a $2.1 million federal grant to help support the region’s migrant and seasonal farm working students. The College Assistance Migrant Program, or CAMP, is funded via the U.S. Department of Education and works with migrant or seasonal farmworkers and their children in completing their first year of college at YVC. […]

Brown Extends COVID Requirements For Ag Workers, OFB Dismayed

On Friday, Governor Kate Brown extended her Executive Order focused on protecting agricultural workers from coronavirus during the off season. Brown said Executive Order 20-58, issued earlier this year, addresses physical distancing, sanitation, and isolation requirements in order to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among the state’s farm workers and surrounding communities. “Agricultural workers […]

Donation To Mattawa Food Bank Will Help Farm Workers In Need

The Mattawa Area Food Bank was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the fraternal non-profit The Royal Neighbors of America. Board president, Pamela Bunger, said the funds came at a great time, after they learned that the food bank’s forklift is not repairable. “Also we are heading towards our busy time, the winter, and we […]