Seems like 2018 went by in the blink of an eye!
It has been a wonderful year at AFOP. Our staff did a fantastic job developing important materials for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as for the U.S. Department of Labor. With hard work and plenty of passion to help the farmworker community, we accomplished and exceeded many of our goals for the year.
However, many things happened in 2018 that affected/devastated our nation’s farmworkers, among them: immigration raids, separation of migrant families, working under the fire ashes of CA, occupational injuries, and much more. Fortunately, this population is resilient, as farmworkers are strong, hard-working souls trying to make a living for themselves and their families while they pick the food that we enjoy every day.
During 2018, AFOP’s Health & Safety Programs’ staff has worked really hard to help empower the farmworker community through health and safety education, resources and advocacy. Despite all the challenges, farmworkers have been very receptive to AFOP Health & Safety Programs’ efforts in providing them and their families with effective life-saving tools while working in the fields and at home.
Our wonderful network of 230 trainers provided health and safety training topics to 46,212 farmworkers in 23 states while doing outreach and providing other services. Based on the data we collected, farmworkers increased their knowledge on pesticide exposure and heat stress by 27%, while just under half of them were able to incorporate what they learned into their daily routines.
AFOP’s HEALTH & SAFETY PROGRAMS’ BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2018 INCLUDE:
- 13,751 farmworkers trained in Worker Protection Standard (WPS)
- 14,959 farmworkers trained in Heat Stress Prevention (HSP)
- 9,059 farmworkers trained in Limiting [pesticide] Exposure Around Families (LEAF)
- 4,614 farmworkers trained in Pesticide Exposure & Pregnancy (PEP)
- 1,418 farmworker children trained in Pesticide Safety – Jose Learns About Pesticides
- 2,411 farmworkers trained in other health and safety topics (tractor safety, food safety, and other)
- 13,062 long-sleeve shirts collected to help protect farmworkers from heat related illnesses and pesticide exposure
- Developed a new WPS flipchart
- 150 entries for the Migrant & Seasonal Farmworker Children Essay & Art Contests
- Over 3 million hits on our PSA’s through the Hispanic Communication Network
- 25% increase on social media followers
AFOP’s BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2018 INCLUDE:
- Development of the NFJP Program Guide – Desk Manual
- Helped secure an 5% increase in funding for the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP)
- Raised public awareness of the success and importance of, and continuing need for, NFJP
AFOP’s Executive Director, Daniel Sheehan, said, “The most recent DOL report comparing federal job training programs shows the NFJP produced an entered employment rate of 90.5 percent and an employment retention rate of 87.9 percent. On average, wages increased three-fold for program participants. Those are excellent results, especially considering that most of the rural areas in which this program operates still suffer from tough economic times, with unemployment rates in excess of the national average.”
As the year ends, AFOP Health & Safety Program staff cannot pass up the opportunity to express their gratitude for all the support received to help the farmworker community. 2018 brought many changes and challenges, but with love and hard work we navigated through them to serve a wonderful population that feeds this country.
At the same time, we know there is even more to be done to improve farmworkers’ quality of life. In 2019, we commit to working tirelessly to ensure farmworkers and their families can live full, healthy, and safe lives. It’s the least we can do for those who give their all so we can enjoy our daily bread.
We wish each one of you a wonderful holiday season and a magnificent new year. Farewell, 2018, and we look forward to ushering in a wonderful 2019!