SALEM, Ore. – Members of the Oregon Army National Guard along with members from the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon State University Extension program handed out approximately 135,000 face coverings at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem today to local farm managers and producers to be distributed to agriculture and migrant seasonal workers during the harvest season.

Farm managers and agricultural producers received face coverings to distribute to their agricultural workers. More than 900,000 face coverings are scheduled to be delivered and distributed to agricultural and seasonal migrant workers throughout the state over the next few days.

“The Oregon National Guard is so proud to do our part to ensure the safety of essential workers,” said Oregon Army National Guard Land Component Commander Brig. Gen. William Prendergast IV. “We are here to help the Oregon Department of Agriculture. It’s definitely a partnership. We are all truly in this together.”


The distribution is a collaborative effort between the Oregon Department of Agriculture, OSU Extension, and the Oregon National Guard under the direction of the Governor Kate Brown. The goal is to support essential agriculture and seasonal workers throughout the harvest season ensuring their safety and limiting the spread of COVID-19.

“From my perspective, this is a success,” Jonathan Sandau, the Special Assistant to the Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture said. “We appreciate the partnership and support from the OSU extension and the Oregon National Guard.”

Since March, the Oregon National Guard has mobilized more than 200 Guardsmen to help support the COVID-19 response. Citizen-Soldiers have assisted with the logistics, delivery, and distribution of millions of Personal Protective Equipment throughout the state of Oregon to include all counties, tribes, many long-term care facilities, and agricultural workers.

Members of the Oregon Army National Guard deliver and help distribute thousands of face coverings to farm managers and agricultural producers Wednesday at the state fairgrounds in Salem, Ore. The distribution is a apart of a collaboration between the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon University Extension, and the Oregon National Guard to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during the harvest season. (Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Photo by Capt. Heather Bashor)

General William Prendergast, Land Component Commander of the Oregon Army National Guard, visits Oregon Guardsmen delivering essential personal protective equipment to farm managers and agricultural producers Wednesday at the state fairgrounds in Salem, Ore. The distribution is a apart of a collaboration between the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon University Extension, and the Oregon National Guard to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during the harvest season. (Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Photo by Capt. Heather Bashor)

General William Prendergast, Land Component Commander of the Oregon Army National Guard, and Jonathan Sandau, Special Assistant to the Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, discuss the delivery and distribution process of personal protective equipment to agricultural workers throughout the state Wednesday at the state fairgrounds in Salem, Ore. The distribution is a apart of a collaboration between the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon University Extension, and the Oregon National Guard to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during the harvest season. (Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Photo by Capt. Heather Bashor)

RICKREALL, Ore. Members of the Oregon Army National Guard delivered and helped distribute thousands of face coverings for agricultural workers in Oregon at the Polk County fairgrounds. The distribution was a part of a collaboration between the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon University Extension, and the Oregon National Guard during the COVID-19 Pandemic. May 27, 2020. (Oregon National Guard photo by 2LT Kierra Kallunki)

WILSONVILLE, Ore. Oregon Army National Guard members load packages of protective masks to be distributed to agricultural workers around the state of Oregon. The distribution was a part of a collaboration between the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon University Extension, and the Oregon National Guard during the COVID-19 Pandemic. May 27, 2020. (Oregon National Guard photo by SFC Zachary Holden)