By: Melanie Forti, Programs Director

As the year ends, AFOP Health & Safety Programs staff cannot pass the opportunity to express their gratitude for so many things in 2016, and wish each one of you a wonderful holiday season and a magnificent new year.

There are no words to express our infinite gratitude to the farmworker community.  Thanks for all the hard work you and your family members endure so we can feast throughout the year.  Thank You!

Thank you to our network of 220 trainers in 29 states.  Without you we wouldn’t have trained 57,887 farmworkers and their family members while helping improve their health and safety at work and at home.  We are also grateful for every person that serves directly or indirectly the farmworker community, because you help makes a difference in their lives.

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During this year our Health & Safety Programs have accomplished so many things.  Here is a quick overview of what we achieved this year:

Training: 57,887

  • 17,486 farmworkers trained in Worker Protection Standard (WPS)
  • 12,361 farmworkers trained in in Limiting [Pesticide] Exposure Around Families (LEAF)
  • 6,680 farmworkers trained in in Pesticide Exposure & Pregnancy (PEP)
  • 18,883 farmworkers trained in Heat Stress Prevention
  • 538 farmworkers trained in Tractor Safety
  • 1,939 farmworker children trained in Jose Learns About Pesticides

At the end of March we had our Annual National Long-sleeve Shirt Drive during the National Farmworkers Awareness Week (March 27-April 1). We collected 8,597 long-sleeve shirts that were distributed among farmworker after receiving pesticide safety training.


During the month of May we focused our efforts toward woman farmworkers and their unborn children. We trained 553 farmworker women on how to protect themselves from pesticide exposure during their pregnancy.  During training we provide them with take-home materials with prevention information.


In June we started a new blog where we publish a diversity of topics related to health and safety issues twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays).  So far we have published 54 articles.

During the week of July 17-23 we trained 2,879 farmworkers during our Annual Heat Stress Prevention Training Marathon Week. During training we provide farmworkers with bandannas with heat stress prevention messages, as well as brochures on how to protect themselves from the heat.


During AFOP’s National Conference in September, we had the opportunity to review and evaluate with our network of trainers:

  • the new Worker Protection Standard flip chart developed by AFOP Health & Safety (still under production/evaluation)
  • our National Farmworker Training Program in order to improve our processes to simplify work for trainers, and provide them with more time to train

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Collaborations:

AFOP Health & Safety partnered with the National Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Association to continue providing pesticide safety to farmworker children with our colorful story-telling curriculum called Jose Learns About Pesticides a.k.a. Jose Aprende.

AFOP Health & Safety partnered with the National Consumers League / Child Labor Coalition to continue advocating and creating awareness about child labor issues.

AFOP Health & Safety partnered with the Hispanic Communication Network and developed a work plan to broadcast PSA’s about pesticide safety in multiple radio stations throughout a period of 5 years.

We increase our awareness on farmworker related issues by:

  • Increasing the number of followers/subscribers, likes and shares in all of our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  • Publishing 25 educational videos
  • Broadcast several PSA’s in over 150 U.S. Hispanic radio stations

It has been a great year with many achievements, but we know there is a lot more to be done.  We just hope to be able to do our part to make this world a better place by helping farmworkers and their families live a full, healthy and safe life.

Bring it on 2017!