All in person workshops around the state have been postponed until the further notice. Please look for our virtual workshops and webinars starting in April.  

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Penn State Extension Town hall-style webinar tofocus on H-2A visa ag workers in uncertain times


Webinar attendees are encouraged to send their questionsbeforehand. General workforce concerns will also be addressed.


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Extension will presenta townhall-style web-based seminar May 7 to assist Pennsylvaniaagricultural stakeholders who rely on the H-2A visa program fortemporary workers to operate their businesses.


The session, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., will cover COVID-19 mitigationefforts, such as international travel restrictions and consulate closures, thathave disrupted the normal functioning of the H-2A visa program. Thesedisruptions to the H-2A program raise questions about the timely arrival ofguest workers and the impact on essential food and agricultural businesses.


The webinar also will address the dangers of COVID-19 itself,which raises similar questions around how to protect the health and well-beingof these visa holders.


The first half of the program will feature guest speakers who willtalk about the implications of the new H-2A temporary rule change, discussingimpacts on how the program interfaces with state agencies; what growers areexperiencing related to travel logistics and visa processing of their guestworkers; steps that employers should take to protect employee health; whathealth programs are available to farm workers in Pennsylvania; how immigrantfarm communities are experiencing the pandemic; and what legislative fixes areeither in the pipeline or should be considered. 


The second half of the webinar will be reserved for aquestion-and-answer period with the guest speakers, and webinar attendees areencouraged to send their questions beforehand. They also will be able to asktheir questions in a live chat with the panelists during the webinar.


Guest speakersinclude Richard Stup, agricultural workforce specialist at CornellCooperative Extension; Brook Duer, staff attorney at the Penn State Center forAgricultural and Shale Law; Grant Meckley, Pennsylvania Keystone Health’sAgricultural Worker Program; Scott Sheely, executive director of theLancaster County Agriculture Council; and Alyssa Charney, agriculturelegislative assistant from Sen. Robert Casey’s office. Casey serves on theSenate Agriculture Committee. 


Please submit questions toextension educators Benjamin Bartley, (English),and Maria Gorgo (Spanish).


Toregister for this webinar, go to:


For more information, contact Gorgo, at or1-609-369-3281; or Dana Ollendyke,, 1-814-863-5567.