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April 2020


Although California was the first state to go into "shelter-in-place," staff kept busy finding resources that would help small farmers and agricultural workers around California. The UC Davis Western Center of Agricultural Health and Safety has compiled a list of resources in Spanish and English to help agricultural workers combat COVID-19. Here is their page. Additionally, the American Farmland Trust released the Farmer Relief Fund. Each applicant may receive up to $1000 in this time of need.

CA AgrAbility at Extension Education and Tour with Sonoma County ag teachersCalifornia AgrAbility Director Fadi Fathallah presented on AgrAbility program services and ergonomics research for a group of agriculture teachers from Sonoma County. The gathering was part of the Extension Education and Tour with Sonoma County Ag Teachers. The event was hosted by the UC Davis Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.

California AgrAbility participated in the March Ability Tools AT Advocates Monthly (Zoom) Meeting. This meeting is provided by Ability Tools and CFILC in partnership with the CA Department of Rehabilitation. The meeting began with an icebreaker activity in which attendees shared a favorite AT related to World Down Syndrome Day (March 21). AgrAbility staff shared the Memo to Me web service that sends reminders for different things such as watering plants and feeding chickens. AgrAbility staff updated members on upcoming events that have been postponed. However, staff encouraged AT Advocates to watch for future AgrAbility events in which they can do outreach along with AgrAbility staff.

Wildfire Smoke effects imageStaff joined the virtual Wildfire Induced Air Pollution Mitigation & Assessment Symposium. With the increase of wildfires in California, farmers and farmworkers continue to work through smoky days. Researchers are slowly trying to understand the effects of aerosols with more non-organic material burned from buildings such as homes. Researcher Kathryn Conlon is investigating the health outcomes through targeting at-risk populations, such as farmworkers, by creating exposure profiles. Through this, she hopes to see the health effect in workers who were still out in the fields while previous fires were burning.

Submitted by Sara Wat