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National Ag Week March 21 – 27

Launching the #agweekchallenge for National Ag Week.

Show us how you are celebrating agriculture during this week. With agriculture being such a vital industry, now is more important than ever to advocate for our industry.

The history of National Ag Week:

From NationalToday.com 

Agriculture is the biggest food contributor in America. America is the net exporter of food, which means that this industry is a source of food and wealth. The rich history of agriculture in the U.S. attracted colonists to the area. Since most colonists were European, the styles of agricultural cultivation and production were Europe influenced as well. Colonists also brought a large amount of livestock with them to America, which caused changes in its natural landscape.

As the population grew, farms expanded, and settlements moved from the east into the west. This caused the agricultural industry to grow exponentially, with a larger variety of produce being rooted. Once the west was populated and cultivated, a wheat frontier was formed. The east was firmly set on cattle and livestock with only a handful of small-scale crops. On the other hand, the south was dominated by tobacco and cotton. Lastly, the north was dominated by people who planted only what they needed, anything in excess was sold to the market.

It was only during the Civil War and the Second World War that the agricultural system became centralized, and a proper agricultural system was introduced. The Agriculture Council of America, formed in 1973, has supported the farmers and agricultural advancements in farming techniques in the U.S. It comprises influential leaders in agriculture, food, and farming who work together as a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the world on the importance of agriculture in American Society.

At the same time when the council was formed, the first National Agriculture Day was also introduced, which soon developed into an entire week-long celebration. National Agriculture Week has been celebrated ever since, with full enthusiasm to support agriculture and spread awareness about the potential and vitality of agriculture.

A Visionary

A Visionary 💡
A little dive into history has us wanting to tell a little bit of our story today. Our mission at AgSafe is, “providing practical health and safety education to the agriculture community”.
As you can imagine we in fact were founded by visionaries who had the same mission. After SB 198, a meeting between several organizations like Zenith Insurance, Agriculture Producers, CSU Fresno, and UCB spurred conversations around how they can assist in providing educational safety programs that would benefit agriculture.
I’m sure you can imagine where this one meeting lead by James (Jim) Meyers went, having led to the creation of the AgSafe coalition. Jim even supporting the creation of the coalition with funding from a grant held by himself and funding from California Farm Safety Program.
As our story unfolds this week we hope you too will enjoy just how the AgSafe non-profit came to be and just how we serve you as our members now.

International Women’s Day

AgSafe history or Women’s History Month… Why not both? 🤝
In reflecting on our beginnings and visionaries that created AgSafe, we thought it was only fitting that we recognize the first woman to become AgSafe Chair, Alethea Leandro-Farr. 
From 1998 – 2000 Alethea led our organization as we began to create industry based safety trainings.  Alethea is a trailblazer and created a path for our agricultural workforce to learn the fundamentals of agricultural health and safety. 
During her time as chair, AgSafe launched our signature California Agricultural Safety Certificate Program which now has over 2,000 graduates.  Alethea’s boots on the ground approach to training legacy continues to this day and is a core component of our organization.  
Alethea has continued to serve on the AgSafe Board of Directors and lends her time and talents to provide training to our industry.  Her leadership has shaped our organization and we will be forever grateful for her passion and dedication.  
On this International Women’s Day we celebrate Alethea and all women who have lead our organization and continue to drive our mission today.
#today #internationalwomensday #InternationalWomensMonth #internationalwomensday23

Reiter Affiliated Companies MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

“We are a people company who happens to grow great berries,” Carlos Perez, Director of Safety and Loss Control, summed it up perfectly. Reiter Affiliated Companies is beyond a leading berry grower, they are nurturing the growth of their people as well; as evidenced in their mission statement, “the relentless pursuit to delight [their] consumers and enrich [their] employees and communities.” Reiter has implemented numerous health and safety programs in their multiple operations focused on creating a culture of safety in the workplace that emphasizes the value they place on their employees, vendors, contractors, and visitors.

Their “Safety First” program includes regular safety training, safety inspections, and safety audits to identify potential hazards and address them promptly. Regular walkthroughs are conducted with all of their fieldworkers and honest conversations take place where they make it a goal to find at least 2 areas they can improve upon for their people. When Reiter supervisors see any one of their team performing safe acts they provide them with Reiter Scratchers, that offer an array of prizes.
In addition to its safety program, Reiter Affiliated Companies also provides its employees with access to a wellness program that offers health screenings, nutrition counseling, and fitness classes. As well as, offering a range of employee development and recognition programs that include training and development opportunities, as well as recognition programs that acknowledge employees’ hard work and contributions to the company’s success.

We are proud to have an organization like Reiter Affiliated Companies be a part of the AgSafe family. They truly place their people first and it shows in the delicious and successful products they produce. Thank you, Reiter, for being a shining example of safe, healthy, compliant and prosperous employee-employer relations.

Creating a Culture of Safety and Responsibility with Voxel

Creating a culture of safety and responsibility 🦺
Compliance is crucial in the agricultural industry to ensure the safety of workers. By following regulations and guidelines, farm employers can create a culture of safety and responsibility.
This can be done through regular safety training, providing up-to-date personal protective equipment, and maintaining clean and organized workspaces. Below is an example of this at work, a team at the AgSafe office taking part in our Tractor Train the Trainer to ensure they know all the important aspects about operating this machinery and how to teach their teams to do the same.
Let’s work together to prioritize compliance and create a safer and more sustainable future for agriculture. #safety #safetyculture #safetytraining 

Prioritizing Workplace Safety with Violence Prevention Tools and Procedures

🚨Urgent Announcement: Prioritizing Workplace Safety with Violence Prevention Tools and Procedures! 🚨

We cannot emphasize enough the critical importance of workplace violence prevention. Recent events serve as stark reminders of the need to prioritize safety and well-being in our professional environments. That’s why we’re sharing some valuable insights to shed light on this vital topic.

Check out this insightful article by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) on workplace violence prevention tools and procedures: https://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2023/2023-46.html

Workplace violence poses significant risks to employees’ physical and emotional well-being, as well as to the overall productivity and harmony of any organization. It is our responsibility to create and maintain safe environments where everyone feels secure and respected.

The article underscores the importance of implementing robust workplace violence prevention tools and procedures. By having these measures in place, organizations can proactively address potential risks and mitigate them before they escalate. Prevention is always the best course of action!

Workplace violence prevention tools encompass a wide range of strategies, including comprehensive risk assessments, effective communication protocols, clear reporting mechanisms, and employee training programs. These tools empower individuals to identify warning signs, intervene when necessary, and seek help when needed. Together, we can foster a culture of safety and support.

Employers play a pivotal role in creating a secure work environment. By prioritizing violence prevention and adopting robust procedures, they not only safeguard their workforce but also enhance overall organizational resilience and reputation. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

We believe that every individual deserves to work in an environment free from fear and violence. It’s time to take action and promote workplace violence prevention across all industries and sectors. Together, we can make a meaningful difference and ensure that every workplace becomes a haven of safety and respect.

Let’s work hand in hand to implement effective workplace violence prevention tools and procedures. Together, we can create safer, more inclusive, and thriving work environments for all.


Author: Athena Ushana

H-2A Requirements and Rates!

📣 Attention Employers! Stay Informed about H-2A Requirements and Rates!

👉 We have important news regarding meals and travel-related subsistence expenses for H-2A and H-2B workers. Take a look at these key points to ensure compliance and fair treatment:

Allowable Meal Charge: When offering meals, state the charge (if any) to workers. Until a new amount is published, the maximum allowable meal charge is $15.46 per day. Let’s keep our workers nourished and supported!

Daily Subsistence Amounts for Travel: Specify the minimum and maximum dollar amounts workers will receive for subsistence expenses while traveling. The minimum is $15.46 per day, and with documentation, the maximum can be up to $59.00 per day. Let’s make their journeys comfortable!

Lodging and Transportation: Provide or pay reasonable costs for lodging and transportation. Remember, the amount should be no less than the most economical and reasonable costs. Our workers deserve safe and convenient arrangements!

Compliance is Key: Ensure your job offers accurately state the charges and reimbursement amounts. To prevent issues, it is recommended that payments for reimbursement appear on the first paychecks or made as soon as possible. By adhering to the regulations, we demonstrate our commitment to fair treatment and create positive work experiences for all. Together, let’s maintain compliance and support our workers!

Familiarize yourself with the updated requirements and rates. Visit the DOL website at: https://flag.dol.gov/wage-data/adverse-effect-wage-rates to stay informed and stay ahead of H2A wage rates.

Recognizing Mar Vista Berry II’s Exemplary Safety Achievements

We are impressed by the outstanding safety accomplishments of Mar Vista Berry II over the past decade. One remarkable aspect is the company’s workers’ compensation experience modification, which has consistently demonstrated a commitment to safety. Ranging from the highest at 90% to the lowest at 42%, this remarkable track record showcases the unwavering dedication to maintaining a safe working environment.

Mar Vista Berry II’s innovative approach to safety is evident through the introduction of the A.L.C.E. acronym. This acronym, representing Attention/Atención, Lifting/Levantar, Control, and Stretch/Estiramiento, serves as the cornerstone of their safety program. Their commitment to simplicity and effectiveness is evident as A.L.C.E. posters are displayed in every crew area, ensuring that every employee is well acquainted with its meaning. Furthermore, providing a copy of the acronym as a paycheck stuffer demonstrates the company’s dedication to promoting safety at every opportunity.

The commitment to safety goes beyond the A.L.C.E. program, as Mar Vista Berry II has implemented a monthly safety recognition program to honor employees who prioritize safety. This initiative, although a small part of their overall safety program, provides tangible recognition for maintaining a safe work environment.

Safety training is deeply ingrained in the company’s culture, with a knowledgeable safety manager overseeing comprehensive training efforts. They go the extra mile by utilizing external training resources to enhance their safety training program, ensuring that employees receive the most relevant and up-to-date information.

The company’s commitment to ongoing safety improvement is evident during their weekly production meetings, where the safety manager provides updates and engages in discussions to find solutions. This collaborative approach fosters a culture of safety and empowers employees to actively participate in creating a secure work environment.

Mar Vista Berry II’s safety program is founded on the principles of Injury and Illness Prevention Program regulations, and what truly sets them apart is the unwavering support from all levels of management, including crew leaders, supervisors, managers, and owners. This top-down commitment to safety amplifies the effectiveness of their program.

Weekly crew safety meetings, daily warm-up exercises, and monthly safety walkarounds further showcase the company’s dedication to identifying and resolving risks promptly. Additionally, every job-related workplace incident, no matter how small, undergoes a thorough investigation, emphasizing the company’s commitment to learning and preventing future incidents.

While striving for a goal of “Zero” injuries, they remain steadfast in their pursuit of creating a safer work environment. Their unwavering dedication and continuous efforts make it evident that they are on the path to achieving this goal. We applaud Mar Vista Berry II for their exemplary safety achievements and their commitment to the well-being of their employees.


Author: Athena Ushana

Are you expecting? You should know how the new PWFA affects you!

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is a recent legislation that safeguards pregnant employees against workplace discrimination and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for their pregnancy-related needs. This impartial summary highlights key points for employers to consider:

Non-discrimination: The law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

Reasonable accommodations: Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers, ensuring they can perform their job duties without jeopardizing their health or the health of their baby. Accommodations can include modified tasks, temporary job transfers, or adjustments to work schedules.

Interactive process: Employers are encouraged to engage in an interactive process with pregnant employees to determine appropriate accommodations. This involves a dialogue to understand the employee’s needs and identify feasible solutions.

Undue hardship: While employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations, they are not obligated to make accommodations that would impose an undue hardship on their business. Factors such as the size of the business, financial resources, and operational limitations are considered in determining undue hardship.

Notification and education: Employers should inform employees about their rights under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and provide education on the policies and procedures related to accommodations. Clear communication helps foster a supportive and inclusive work environment.

Compliance: Employers should review and update their policies and practices to ensure compliance with the law. This may involve revising anti-discrimination policies, training supervisors and managers, and establishing procedures for addressing accommodation requests.

It is essential for employers to familiarize themselves with the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, understand their obligations, and take proactive steps to create a workplace that values and supports pregnant employees while adhering to legal requirements.

Here’s the tea on hiring…

Let’s chat about a crucial aspect of running a successful agricultural operation: having proper hiring and on-boarding procedures!

In the fast-paced world of agriculture, finding the right talent and integrating them effectively into the team is essential for sustainable growth. Here’s why 👉

1. A well-defined hiring process helps identify candidates with the right skills and passion for agriculture, making your team more efficient and productive.

2. By providing a comprehensive on-boarding experience, new hires feel supported and valued, which can reduce turnover and retain top talent.

3. Complying with industry regulations and labor laws is crucial. Proper procedures safeguard both employees and the company, avoiding potential legal issues.

4. Thorough on-boarding includes safety training, minimizing accidents and creating a secure work environment for everyone.

So, how can agri-companies ensure compliance and effective on-boarding? Here are some steps to follow:

👉 Clearly Defined Job Descriptions: Clearly outline the responsibilities, qualifications, and expectations for each role to attract suitable candidates.

👉 Structured Interview Process: Implement a consistent and fair interview process, involving multiple team members to evaluate candidates from various perspectives.

👉 Background Checks & References: Conduct background checks and verify references to ensure the authenticity of the candidate’s qualifications and work history.

👉 Compliance with Labor Laws: Stay up-to-date with labor laws, work permits, and visa requirements to ensure all hires are legally eligible to work.

👉 Comprehensive Onboarding Program: Develop a comprehensive onboarding program that covers safety protocols, company policies, and job-specific training.

👉 Mentorship & Support: Assign mentors to new hires to help them acclimate to the work environment, fostering a positive and inclusive workplace culture.

👉 Regular Evaluation & Feedback: Provide regular evaluations and feedback to help employees grow and improve in their roles.

Together, let’s promote a strong and sustainable agriculture industry by putting people first! Proper hiring and onboarding not only benefit the employees but also contribute to the overall success of our agri-community. 🌾 Let’s grow together! 🌿 #Agriculture #HiringBestPractices #OnboardingSuccess

  • Del Bosque Farms, INC

    Legacy Circle

  • Alta Vineyard, LP

    Partners in Safety

  • ICW Group

    Partners in Safety

  • Vino Farms

    Partners in Safety

  • Innovative Produce

    Legacy Circle

  • Bayer Crop Science

    Legacy Circle

  • ASP Farm Services

    Legacy Circle

  • AG Health Benefits Alliance

    Partners in Safety

  • Cortina Vineyard Management

    Partners in Safety

  • Lakeside Organic Gardens

    Partners in Safety

  • Ma Garcia Agri Labor, INC.

    Partners in Safety

  • Terranova Ranch

    Partners in Safety

  • The Wonderful Company

    Legacy Circle

  • Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Insurance

  • Duncan Family Farms

  • The Morning Star Company

  • Walsh Vineyards Management

  • Silverado Farming Company, Inc.

  • Rios Farming Company, LLC

  • Ocean Mist Farms

  • Al Pak Labor/Braga Ranch

  • Paragon Personnel

  • Syngenta

  • Premium Packing

  • Fetzer Vineyards

  • Premium Employment Services

  • Pacific Internal Marketing / Dynapac Harvesting