Oregon National Guard delivers masks to ag workers across the state

SALEM, Ore. – Members of the Oregon Army National Guard along with members from the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon State University Extension program handed out some 135,000 face coverings at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem Wednesday to local farm managers and producers to be distributed to agriculture and migrant seasonal workers during the harvest season.

Farm managers and agricultural producers received face coverings to distribute to their agricultural workers. More than 900,000 face coverings are scheduled to be delivered and distributed to agricultural and seasonal migrant workers throughout the state over the next few days.

“The Oregon National Guard is so proud to do our part to ensure the safety of essential workers,” said Oregon Army National Guard Land Component Commander Brig. Gen. William Prendergast IV. “We are here to help the Oregon Department of Agriculture. It’s definitely a partnership. We are all truly in this together.”

The distribution is a collaborative effort between the Oregon Department of Agriculture, OSU Extension, and the Oregon National Guard under the direction of Gov. Kate Brown.

The goal is to support essential agriculture and seasonal workers throughout the harvest season ensuring their safety and limiting the spread of COVID-19.

“From my perspective, this is a success,” Jonathan Sandau, the Special Assistant to the Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture said. “We appreciate the partnership and support from the OSU extension and the Oregon National Guard.”

Since March, the Oregon National Guard has mobilized more than 200 Guardsmen to help support the COVID-19 response.

Citizen-Soldiers have assisted with the logistics, delivery, and distribution of millions of Personal Protective Equipment throughout the state of Oregon to include all counties, tribes, many long-term care facilities, and agricultural workers.

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