ALTAMONT, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As COVID-19 vaccine eligibility continues to expand in New York, some in the agriculture industry are feeling left out.

“It’s time to protect our essential workers who feed us all, it’s a priority,” says Steve Ammerman, New York Farm Bureau Director of Communications.

Starting Wednesday anyone 60 and older is eligible to get vaccinated. On March 17th, more public-facing essential workers can also receive a shot. But the expanded eligibility announced by the state Tuesday did not include food and agricultural workers.

“We think it’s overdue for the state to protect the men and women who work on our farms who are essential workers. Throughout this pandemic, as well as before and after, they’re the ones putting food on our tables, so we think they deserve the protection of the vaccine as well,” Ammerman said.

According to CDC COVID-19 vaccine rollout recommendations, food and agricultural workers are suggested to be vaccinated in Phase 1B, the phase New York is currently in. However, these workers are still waiting for their chance to get a shot.

“Common sense of it is, if you’re going to have all of this about food safety and everything like that, and worker safety, we should be on that list of people that get it,” says Pete Ten Eyck, owner of Indian Ladder Farms.

Ten Eyck is the third generation farmer at the farm in Altamont. During the season he usually has over a dozen people working directly on the farm, with some also living on the farm’s property.

“We gotta get these folks vaccinated, we gotta get ourselves in a safe environment here where we’re trying to grow a crop and handle food. So the logic of it seems that we oughta be able to be a part of that thing,” he says.

The New York Farm Bureau says other states like Illinois, California and North Carolina have already started vaccinating these workers.