This past September, the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) held its annual National Conference in Milwaukee, WI. During the conference, AFOP’s board of directors met to discuss the issues affecting the association, as well as where it is headed.
Daniel Sheehan, AFOP’s Executive Director, had this to say about the Directors’ meeting:
AFOP’s board of directors, at its September 17 biannual meeting, approved a change to the AFOP mission statement to, among other things, add the concept of farmworker health and safety to the association’s mission statement. This change reflects the many years of AFOP’s facilitating trainings by its member organizations to provide agricultural laborers with the knowledge they need to better protect their health and that of their families. This mission element is crucial to the association’s overall efforts to advance the causes of the nation’s farmworkers.
Afterwards, Jennifer Shahan, chair of AFOP’s Committee on Health & Safety, thanked the board for including health and safety in the statement – a very important element that had been missing previously.
AFOP’s Mission now reads as follows:
The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs’ mission is to improve the quality of life for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families by promoting self-sufficiency through employment and training opportunities, educational attainment, and health and safety.
As the AFOP Health & Safety Programs team, we are very excited to have this new statement in AFOP’s mission. For one, it reinforces our work and commitment to continue empowering the farmworker community through health and safety education, resources, and advocacy. Secondly, it makes our association stronger by recognizing the need for a holistic approach to serving farmworkers. After all, even when farmworkers achieve greater self-sufficiency through NFJP, they continue to suffer as long as their health & safety was at risk.