Mapping food insecurity, COVID-19 vaccine info for ag sector, Food Biz Week, and more!

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Find your phase: COVID-19 vaccinations for the food and agricultural sector

vaccine

Are you an essential worker critical to the Food and Agricultural Sector? If so, you may be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine during Phase 1.

The Food and Agricultural Sector is composed of complex production, processing, and delivery systems in order to feed people and animals both within and outside of the U.S. This sector contains essential workers who are vital to maintaining and securing Washington’s food supply.

Washington State Department of Health is piloting the Phase Finder tool, an online self-assessment to help people find out if they are eligible for vaccination. Phase Finder will also provide:

  • Confirmation of eligibility that can be shown at a vaccination site,
  • A link to a list of available sites for vaccination, and
  • Email and/or text notifications regarding your eligibility status if you are not yet eligible.

In Phase 1B Tier 2 (“Phase 1, B2”), critical workers 50 years and older with significantly high risk of exposure and transmission in congregate settings, including agriculture, food processing, and grocery stores, are eligible. See the visual timeline here.

For more information, visit covidvaccinewa.org.

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Register today for Food Biz Week from Feb. 22-26, 2021

Food Biz Week

Food Biz Week is opportunity for food and farm businesses at all levels of food production and food retail in the Pacific Northwest to learn from industry experts and fellow experienced colleagues through a curated week of virtual panels, presentations, and networking activities. The event will be all virtual, so food and farm entrepreneurs are invited to attend from anywhere in the region.

Event Date: Feb. 22 - 26

Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. every day

View the full schedule here

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Seats are filling quickly so make sure you register early at www.businessimpactnw.org/fbw


Mapping food security during the COVID-19 pandemic: A closer look at risk factors in King County

WAFOOD

The University of Washington and Washington State University, with support from Tacoma Community College, have created the Washington State Food Security Survey to monitor how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted economic security and food access for Washington state residents. A few important initial results relevant to residents in King County are shared below:

  • Food insecurity has spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting an estimated 30% of King County households.
  • Higher rates of food insecurity were observed in South Seattle and South King County.
  • There were more confirmed COVID-19 positive cases in South Seattle and South King County.
  • Obesity and food insecurity has contributed to COVID-19 positivity rates.
  • COVID-19 risk and severity may depend on area socio-demographic variables.

Read the full results here. Farmers and ranchers, please consider completing the Washington State Farm COVID-19 End-of-Season Survey. Information from this survey will be useful in informing recovery and next steps for Washington agriculture.

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Apply for Viva Farms' Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture

PSA

Viva Farms is currently accepting applications to their 2021 Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture at both Skagit and Woodinville locations. The deadline to apply is coming up fast - Friday, Feb. 12.

The Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture is a bilingual (English-Spanish) hands-on, applied course in Certified Organic production and small farm business management. Over the course of the three-quarter program, participants will apply knowledge and practice techniques of sustainable agricultural production on a Certified Organic parcel, located at the Viva Farms incubator.

More information is available on Viva Farms' website, or by contacting practicum@vivafarms.org or 360-969-7191 x4.

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Rodale Institute launches their Virtual Campus for farmers and food advocates

Rodale

Rodale Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to growing the organic movement through research, farmer training, and consumer education, recently launched the Rodale Institute Virtual Campus, where they provide new farmer trainees and advocates the tools they need for business success. Join the Virtual Campus for workshops, webinars, long-term training internships, and other opportunities to learn with Rodale Institute's expert staff. 

The online courses feature videos, case studies, resources, and assessments, which participants can access at their own pace. They won't expire, so participants get unlimited access across all devices. The courses that recently premiered include "Transition to Certified Organic," a how-to guide for transitioning to USDA certified organic, and "Hobby Beekeeping," a class on the basics of backyard beekeeping, including bee biology, equipment, and management strategies. 

Learn more about the Rodale Institute Virtual Campus and register for online courses here

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