By: Juliana Hinton, Communications Coordinator
Working with farmworkers in the U.S. and in particular migrant and seasonal farmworkers you’ll hear too many stories of abuse of rights. Abuse of human, civil, and labor rights is rampant in agriculture, a common denominator when talking about profitable industries. However, you don’t hear as often of the success stories, where farmworkers harvest with pride, constantly aware the importance of their job and their worth. Where they go to work in a safe environment and take strong and joyful strides into the fields, where they are at peace.
AFOP Health & Safety strives to create an environment where farmworkers feel confident and excited to go to work, knowing they know how to protect themselves from everyday dangers. Because they are people, with their own lives and families and concerns, who make the everyday possible. While everyone is gathering around tables of feasts today with neighbors, friends, and families, many farmworkers will be working. Harvesting food is a job that never ends, even on holidays. You pick up a bag of carrots, and, in a plastic container it’s easy to detach the natural origin of produce. People ignore the idea of industrial farms presence in supermarkets. But more than that, someone’s sore and cracked hands, like dried river beds. Their nails fill with dark soil picking tenderly crouched and bent, tired. It is work to be proud of, so long as it is dignified, when every farmworker’s human, civil, and labor rights and fulfilled.
AFOP Health & Safety Programs staff is grateful for farmworkers, for making Thanksgiving possible, for playing such a critical role in this world, and for simultaneously being so humble. Our way of saying thank you is to continue to provide essential health and safety training, to make farmworkers lives a little easier. And you, as a fellow consumer, have many more people to be thankful for today.