Sep 14, 2021
OSHA developing rule that will require vaccination for companies of 100+ employees

On Sept. 9, President Biden announced that the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated.

According to the White House, OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement the rule, which will require businesses to “ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.” The rule also will require those employers “to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are under the weather post-vaccination.”

“Given that the harvest season has begun across the U.S., we are urging the administration to be sensitive to the potential impact of a rules change in the middle of this important time for American agriculture,” said Dominic LaJoie, National Potato Council 2021 President.

The administration estimates the new requirement will impact over 80 million workers in private sector businesses with 100-plus employees. More information on the proposed rule is available here.

House begins laying out details on reconciliation bill

This week, several key House committees began writing their portion of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. Before leaving for the August recess, the House approved the broad budget resolution that authorized the use of the partisan reconciliation process, allocated funding to the committees and instructed them to provide details on how they would utilize that new funding.

This morning, the House Education and Labor Committee was working on details concerning $35 billion in new spending for the child nutrition programs. This afternoon, the House Agriculture Committee will begin their markup on new provisions including agricultural research, conservation, renewable energy and forestry initially totaling $90 billion. During the markup, Chairman David Scott (D-Georgia) pledged to add an additional $28 billion for climate and other conservation spending.

Perhaps the most important of all the committee work will occur in House Ways and Means that governs tax issues and also trade. They will begin their markup today and continue into next week. On the table is a potential change in the estate tax, stepped-up basis and other key provisions of the tax code that American agriculture depends on.

“NPC formally went on record against undermining or eliminating these important tax provisions during our Summer Meeting. The full NPC Board made it clear that paying for increased spending on the backs of American producers is not acceptable,” said RJ Andrus, NPC Vice President of Legislative Affairs.

Registration open for 2022 PILI 

The Potato Leadership, Education, and Advancement Foundation (Potato LEAF) is now accepting applications for the 2022 Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI). PILI provides tools to help growers and industry members develop as leaders and motivate them to commit their time and energy to the betterment of the U.S. potato industry.

The Leadership Institute is a 10-day program that provides an overview of the U.S. potato industry, the challenges and issues beyond the production sector, and the roles of the industry’s state and national organizations in maintaining a positive business climate for potato growers. The 2022 program will take place in California and Washington, D.C., Feb. 23 through March 4, 2022.

All applications must be submitted electronically through the Google Form available here by Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Confirmations of participation will be sent by November 12, 2021.

If you have any questions about the application, program or about how many guaranteed participants your state receives, please email [email protected].

Importance of MRLs

With importing countries frequently updating their regulations concerning maximum residue levels (MRLs), it is important that U.S. growers, shippers and processors fully understand the current MRL requirements. The document available here, prepared by Matt Lantz from Bryant Christie Inc., has been made available for all those involved in exporting U.S. potatoes and potato products.

If you have questions or need assistance accessing the Potatoes USA global database, contact Tiffany Thompson at [email protected].


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