Oregon National Guard Spc. Eric Holloway, center, carries a box of masks over to a vehicle. Oregon State University extension employees and the Oregon National Guard distributed masks and hand sanitizer to farmworkers and agricultural producers on Wednesday, May 27 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Farmers, ranchers, nursery owners and farm labor contractors slowed traffic in both directions along 17th Street Wednesday as they lined up early to pick up masks and sanitizer.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture coordinated giveaways of protective equipment for agricultural employers across Oregon this week, handing out about 170,000 masks in Marion and Polk counties. The gear is meant to keep farmworkers safe on the job as Oregon's agricultural industry heads into its busiest season.

Audrey Comerford loads a box of masks into Ethan Smith's pickup. Smith was picking up masks for B&D Farms, of St. Paul. Oregon State University extension employees and the Oregon National Guard distributed masks and hand sanitizer to farmworkers and agricultural producers on Wednesday, May 27 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)Oregon National Guard Spc. Eric Holloway, center, carries a box of masks over to a vehicle. Oregon State University extension employees and the Oregon National Guard distributed masks and hand sanitizer to farmworkers and agricultural producers on Wednesday, May 27 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter) Audrey Comerford carries bottles of hand sanitizer over to a vehicle on Wednesday, May 27 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)Oregon National Guard Spc. Eric Holloway, center, and Sgt. Michael Ware carry boxes of masks over to vehicles during an event distributing masks and hand sanitizer to farmworkers and agricultural producers on Wednesday, May 27 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)Oregon State University extension employees and the Oregon National Guard distributed masks and hand sanitizer to farmworkers and agricultural producers on Wednesday, May 27 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)Oregon State University extension employees and the Oregon National Guard distributed masks and hand sanitizer to farmworkers and agricultural producers on Wednesday, May 27 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)Oregon State University extension employees Betsy Verhoeven, left, and Yolanda Rodriguez manage a table of personal protective equipment. Extension employees and the Oregon National Guard distributed masks and hand sanitizer to farmworkers and agricultural producers on Wednesday, May 27 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)Sgt. 1st Class Dugald Campbell, of the Oregon National Guard, loads a box of masks into a vehicle. Oregon State University extension employees and the Oregon National Guard distributed masks and hand sanitizer to farmworkers and agricultural producers on Wednesday, May 27 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)Oregon State University extension employee Yolanda Rodriguez, center, loads boxes of masks into a vehicle. Extension employees, alongside the Oregon National Guard, distributed masks and hand sanitizer to farmworkers and agricultural producers on Wednesday, May 27 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

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