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OSHA Releases Federal Vaccine Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Division has created the federal rule that outline how affected employers can help workers and themselves to understand the requirements and purpose of OSHA’s new Emergency Temporary Standard on Vaccination and Testing.  A YouTube video is also available that explains the overarching elements of the rule.

OSHA has posted information regarding the ETS on their site. A few highlights of the rule are:
    •    December 5, 2021 = deadline to have policy in place IF your company will require a vaccine and NOT offer weekly testing as an option
    •    January 4, 2022 = deadline to have policy in place to either choose vaccination or choose weekly testing PLUS wearing a mask at all times while working
    •    This mandate preempts (supersedes) any and all State & Local laws.
    •    The mandate applies to all employers with 100 or more employees.  Everyone working for the company while the ETS is in effect counts as an employee. This includes management, seasonal, temporary and/or part-time personnel.
    •    Employers must provide information on their company vaccination mandate policy to all employees.
    •    Employers do not have to pay for the weekly testing, although they can choose to do so (under this ETS).
    ◦    Exemptions: Employers may be required to pay for testing if required by other laws, regulations, such as collective bargaining or health program agreements.
    •    Employers must determine and confirm the vaccination status of each employee.
    ◦    Failure by employee to provide “acceptable proof” - treat employee as unvaccinated.
    ◦    Employers required to preserve documentation/evidence of acceptable proof of vaccination & roster of vaccination-status of all employees.
    ◦    Proof of vaccination, rosters, and weekly test results must be preserved & maintained by employers for review by health authorities as long as the ETS is in effect.
    •    Testing Requirements for unvaccinated workers.
    ◦    Must be tested at least 1x every 7 days.
    ◦    Must provide test results documentation to employer (in compliance with the above requirement).
    ◦    Must be removed from the workplace if not providing timely test result documentation.
    •    EXEMPTION: workers who work exclusively (100%) outdoors 


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Welcome Back to Music City – ‘22
Pictures of the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee

 

 

 
 
   
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Welcome Back to Music City – ‘22

 


Changing a host city and hotel is no small task, but we are working to make it happen quickly to meet your expectations.  The 107th National Watermelon Convention & Annual Meeting of the National Watermelon Association will be held in ‘downtown’ Nashville, Tennessee at the beautiful Sheraton Grand Hotel on Union Street. Four years ago the hotel completed a $35 million renovation, placing the 28-floor hotel in the most elite classification in the Sheraton brand, as one of only five Sheraton Grand's in the U.S.  Take a look and see for yourself:  https://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-photos/bnand-sheraton-grand-nashville-downtown/.    

Today, we are sharing a pre-release of the agenda and registrations.  We will have all-to-do with the convention including hotel reservations links posted to our website within the next two weeks, so please bear with us.  We also opened the nominations for our Marketing Award and the Future WM Farm Leaders program.  

In the coming weeks we will release more details about the national convention as we make the necessary arrangements and finalize the change-of-venue to create those wonderful, new memories.  
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.  Thank you in advance for your patience as we work to finalize so many moving parts of the convention.  We look forward to seeing you in Music City USA – Nashville in February for what will be another great national convention and a renewal of the association post-COVID.  See you soon.

Registration


Banquet


Agenda


Future Leaders


Marketing Award

 

 

A Needed Change of Venue

A Message from our Executive Director
 

Hello Friends:
 
From the earliest weeks and months of the coronavirus pandemic, the NWA has strived to keep our members’ safety top-of-mind while we navigate through the unknowns of COVID-19.  Keeping our members safe when we gather is paramount to our efforts, and that assurance will continue.
 
Following a series of reviews with numerous professionals, a legal review of the New York City vaccine mandate, and a one-day member survey with an overwhelming majority ‘unwilling’ to go to NYC, it became perfectly clear that we had to take action.  The city-wide mandate will not allow over half of our attendees to access the convention space, which required us to seek a new location outside of New York City.  While this move may disappoint some of our members, it is necessary and prudent to allow the NWA to be able to hold a ‘complete’ convention with access to all.     
 
The Association reached out to our hotelier contacts in eight (8) states in an immediate effort to seek a new home for our national convention.  We are very fortunate, thankful and pleased to announce to you that the 107th National Watermelon Convention & Annual Meeting of the National Watermelon Association has a very welcoming, new home in February.  Our new hosts are located in ‘downtown’ Nashville, Tennessee at the beautiful Sheraton Grand Hotel on Union Street. 
 
Just four years ago the hotel completed a $35 million renovation, placing the 28-floor hotel in the most elite classification in the Sheraton brand, as one of only five Sheraton Grand's in the United States.  Take a look: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-photos/bnand-sheraton-grand-nashville-downtown/.  This beautiful property will be our hosts in just four (4) months, and we will be the exclusive group that will meet in-house. 
 
A significant change like this will require a delay in our normal timing to open the convention up.  We have a goal of November 1st to open hotel room reservations, convention registrations, sponsorships, exhibit space, speaking opportunities, and more.  You will find all of the pertinent information posted on the convention page at www.watermelon.ag by that kickoff date.
 
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to anyone of us on the NWA Team.  Thank you in advance for your patience, and we look forward to seeing you in Music City USA – Nashville in February for what will be another great national convention.  See you soon.
 
Sincerely,
 
Bob Morrissey
Executive Director, NWA

 
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