Press Release – 10/08/21

Public Statement of NAPI Regarding COVID-19 Outbreak at Pumpkin Patch Fundraisers, Inc. Facility

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On October 7, 2021, the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry (“NAPI”) was notified of a COVID-19 outbreak at the Pumpkin Patch Fundraisers, Inc. facility.  The COVID-19 outbreak is isolated only to employees of Pumpkin Patch Fundraisers, Inc.  NAPI’s employees have not been exposed to the outbreak and NAPI has taken steps to ensure that its employees and operations are protected from COVID-19.

Since the Navajo Nation President issued a state of emergency in response to COVID-19, NAPI has taken steps to ensure that it complies with the recommendations set forth by the Navajo Department of Health, Department of Personnel Management, Emergency Management Commission, and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Most recently, pursuant to Executive Order No. 007-2021, mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for all Navajo Nation employees, within the Navajo Nation Branches, Divisions, Departments, Programs, Offices, Chapters, and Enterprises, by September 29, 2021, NAPI retained the services of an independent medical contractor to assist NAPI with implementing the vaccination and testing requirements on-site to ensure that NAPI is compliant with the President’s Order.  The health and safety of NAPI’s employees are of the utmost importance to the NAPI Board of Directors and NAPI Management.

Although the Pumpkin Patch Fundraisers, Inc. facility is located on the NAPI Farm, their operations are conducted separate and independent from NAPI’s operations.  Pumpkin Patch Fundraisers, Inc.’s operations are subject to direct oversight by the Navajo Nation Land Department pursuant to a Lease Agreement between the Navajo Nation, Pumpkin Patch Fundraisers, Inc. and Upland Desert Popcorn, LLC, that was approved by the Navajo Nation Council Resources and Development Committee on March 7, 2017, by Legislation No. RDCMA-28-17 and signed by former President Russell Begaye.  The Lease Agreement requires that Pumpkin Patch Fundraisers, Inc. comply with all applicable Navajo laws, and regulations in the performance of all of their activities under the Lease, including but not limited to the Navajo Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Navajo Office of Environmental Health, Navajo Preference in Employment Act, the Navajo Business Opportunity Act, the tax laws and regulations of the Nation, and the environmental laws and regulations of the Nation and its Environmental Protection Agency.  At this time, NAPI will continue monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and respond accordingly.

NAPI is a wholly owned enterprise of the Navajo Nation charged with operating and managing a commercial farm on land held in trust by the United States for the Navajo Nation under legislation authorizing the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project.  For more information regarding NAPI, visit navajopride.com

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