In just released guidance from the Department of Homeland Security, the President has designated Food and Agriculture as Critical Infrastructure in the fight against the spread of Covid-19. This guidance is provided to state and local officials when developing responses to the spread of the disease.
The sweeping guidance notes food manufacturing employees, farm workers, employees and firms supporting the food industry and employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of agricultural production among many others as essential critical infrastructure workers. Certainly rice farming, milling and all of our support industries who are working round the clock to refill grocery shelves and export cargos to the world are critical!
While we appreciate the recognition of our industry’s importance during this time, it is also critical that we protect its capacity by closely following all CDC and local public health guidance.
Everyone should know and follow guidance from the CDC, as well as state and local government officials, regarding strategies to limit the virus spread. For your use, we are attaching CDC guidance on keeping workplaces safe along with other useful links for employers. Please be especially mindful of your distance between others, travel and handwashing. Please also know that many counties in rice growing regions have strict travel and social engagement restrictions that should be closely followed.
Taking these precautions, even in our more rural areas, will ensure that we have a healthy workforce and families at home so we can get about the business of growing and milling rice to meet our nations urgent demands.