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The impact of COVID-19 on farmers, farm workers and farm families is featured in the current issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Agromedicine.
“This special issue examines how those of us in agricultural safety and health reacted to the pandemic, the problems it illuminated and often exacerbated, and what the future may look like in our discipline and in the agricultural industries,” said Guest Editor Casper Bendixsen, Ph.D., director of the National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, Marshfield, Wis.
Several themes emerged: 1) vulnerabilities in immigrant and other populations often became worse; 2) safety and health efforts depend on strong leadership and reliable partners; and 3) the COVID-19 pandemic is offering a natural, albeit brutal, opportunity to assess the problems it has caused and make recommendations for safety/health responses to future pandemics.
The journal changed its format for this issue, asking authors to capture their thoughts with 1,500-word commentaries instead of original research or review manuscripts. This approach gave authors leeway to react to ever-changing variables in the pandemic and in the agriculture industry, and to sort through evidence other than traditional primary research data, said Editor-in-Chief Matthew Keifer, M.D., M.P.H.
Authors from North America, Ireland and Australia addressed topics such as worker training, PPE shortages, mental health, worker housing and childcare in 18 commentaries.
The Journal of Agromedicine is the world’s top source of peer-reviewed agricultural safety and health information. It is edited by the National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, and published by Taylor and Francis Group.