Ag labor in a global pandemic: What agribusinesses must know to survive COVID-19
By Sarah Cato
U of A System Division of Agriculture
In a profession subject to heavy stresses from weather and the markets, the COVID-19 pandemic is throwing another major obstacle in the way of agricultural producers and others in the food supply chain.
The global pandemic has caused upheaval and worry for many in agriculture with issues such as worker safety and uncertainty over worker availability with changes in immigration and H-2A permits.
“COVID-19 is a serious threat to the U.S. agribusiness industry and will be a major test for food and labor supply chains,” said Brandon Davis, New Orleans-based partner for Phelps Dunbar, LLP. “Understanding the CARES Act, various Small Business Association loan programs and federal guidance concerning agricultural labor is essential to the survival of the U.S. farming industry.”
The National Agricultural Law Center will be hosting a free webinar Wednesday, April 29, at 11 a.m. to discuss these steps, and other considerations for agribusinesses during the pandemic. The webinar will feature three Phelps Dunbar, LLP partners: Davis, Nathan Huff, based in Raleigh, N.C., and Michael Williams, also based in New Orleans.
“Most producers have never seen situation like we’re facing today in their lifetimes,” said Harrison Pittman, Director of the NALC. “Brandon, Nathan and Michael will discuss options available now to agriculture industry entities and how adaptability and agility will play into decisions businesses must make to survive not only the pandemic, but also its deep and lasting economic impacts.”
Those interested in the upcoming webinar can register online at: https://bit.ly/2Kpqvg0