In our last blog of 2018, we promised to continue working tirelessly to ensure farmworkers and their families could live full, healthy, and safe lives… aaand so we did!
2019 presented itself with many challenges for the farmworker community, and AFOP staff and its membership was there to support the amazing workers in many different ways. From legal aid to job training, donations, and pesticide safety trainings, we all came together to offer all the help and tools they needed to have a healthier, safer, and more successful life.
SINCE JANUARY 2019, AFOP HEALTH & SAFETY PROGRAMS HAS ACCOMPLISHED THE FOLLOWING:
This year our goal was to train 28,000 farmworkers. However, with our amazing network of trainers around the country we trained 35,763. Thanks to the support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, we exceeded every one of our proposed goals. Here are our top 2019 accomplishments:
- 10 Train-the-Trainer sessions were conducted in-person and via webinar
- 256 trainers were part of AFOP’s Health & Safety network
- 28 states participated in AFOP’s National Farmworker Training Program
- 11,425 farmworkers received Worker Protection Standard (WPS) training
- 6,640 farmworkers received Take-Home Pesticide Exposure training using the LEAF curriculum
- 3,501 farmworkers received Pesticide Exposure & Pregnancy training
- 11,984 farmworkers received Heat Stress Prevention training
- 1,103 farmworker children received pesticide safety education
- 1,110 farmworkers received “other” health & safety trainings (tractor safety, food safety, etc.)
- 17,857 long-sleeved shirts were collected and distributed to the farmworker community nationwide
- 2,332 farmworkers were trained during our National Heat Stress Prevention Training marathon
- 24,525 take-home materials were distributed (laundry bags, bandanas, brochures, magnets, etc.)
- 3,753,000 radio impressions were generated through AFOP’s PSAs, disseminated by the Hispanic Communication Network
- 54 blog articles were published on AFOP’s H&S WordPress Blog
- Developed 1 new WPS pocket size brochure to reinforce the lessons learns at training
- Developed 1 new Heat Stress pocket size brochure to reinforce the lessons learns at training
- Developed the new Chemical Hazard Communication curriculum to be launched in 2020
- Increased social media followers by 30%
- Published the 2nd volume of our publication called “Children in the Fields: The Stories You Should Know”
AFOP’s BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF 2019 INCLUDE:
AFOP’s 52 member organizations have done an excellent job in providing technical skills to help improve the quality of life of all agricultural workers and their families. Some of AFOP’s major accomplishments include:
- Educated the general public and the federal government on the tremendous success of and continuing need for the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP), earning ongoing support for the program.
- Saw a $3 million increase for NFJP in fiscal year 2020, part of a $10 million increase in NFJP funding since fiscal year 2017.
AFOP Executive Director Daniel Sheehan said, “NFJP is one of the most successful federal job training programs. It continually exceeds performance standards, placing more than 78 percent of program participants in good jobs, achieving an employment retention rate of nearly 88 percent, and securing on average annualized wage increases of one-third. Considering the barriers to success agricultural workers face and persistent unemployment in rural America, the non-profit and public agencies that operate this program do a phenomenal job.”
It has been wonderful year full of record achievements. The road to farmworker justice is long and full of challenges, but we’re ready to kick off 2020 fighting, as always, for the health and safety of the agricultural workers and their families who feed us.
WHAT’S WAITING IN 2020?
Without a doubt, AFOP’s community went the extra mile in 2019, and is committed to doing so in the years to come. In the coming year, AFOP Health and Safety will be focusing its efforts on the following:
TRAINING: We will continue providing critical, life-saving trainings to as many farmworkers and growers as we can through our nationwide network of trainers. The training topics will include:
- Worker Protection Standard (WPS)
- Limiting [pesticide] Exposure Around Families (LEAF)
- Pesticide Exposure & Pregnancy (PEP)
- Jose Learns About Pesticides (pesticide safety for children ages 4-10)
- Heat Stress Prevention
- Chemical Hazard Communication (CHC)
- Other health and safety trainings topic such as Tractor Safety, Food Safety, etc.
AWARENESS & ADVOCACY: We will continue our efforts to fight for farmworker health, safety, and justice, empower the farmworker community with education and resources, and use our social media platforms to create awareness in the general public about issues farmworkers face. We will also continue to fight for fair farmworker child labor laws through the Child Labor Coalition and our social media platforms.
- Blog: Every Wednesday AFOP Health & Safety will publish a new blog post with a variety of topics affecting the farmworker community.
- CIFC Annual Publication: CIFC will publish the third volume of Children In the Fields: The Issues You Should Know.
- Annual National Long-Sleeve Shirt Drive on March 23-31: During National Farmworker Awareness Week. Long-sleeved shirts help protect workers from pesticide exposure and extreme heat exposure. If you want to be part of this effort email email@example.com.
- Annual National Women’s Health Week Training Marathon on May 10 – 16: AFOP trainers will empower farmworker women with knowledge about preventing pesticide exposure while pregnant, and how to avoid risking the health of their unborn child.
- Annual National Heat Stress Prevention Training Marathon Week on July 12 – 18: AFOP will raise awareness among agricultural workers, employers, and farmworker children of the devastating health risks of suffering from a heat-related illness.
- Migrant & Seasonal Farmworker Children Essay and Art Contest: AFOP believes farmworker children have a story to tell. Our annual Essay and Art Contest is a platform for this, where winners get an all-expenses paid trip to our annual conference so they can present their work to our diverse membership.
- New contest theme will be announced at the beginning of April and the contest will open for entries, closing again at the end of June.
- Daily post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on the most relevant issues affecting the farmworker community.
- Video publication on pesticide safety every quarter.
- Follow our YouTube channel here!
FUNDRAISING: AFOP Health & Safety will dedicate its efforts to increase its funding to expand and reach as many farmworkers as possible. This will be accomplished through:
- Grant writing
- Strategic corporate partnerships
- Online store
AFOP’s Health & Safety’s agenda will be very full in 2020, but it’s all worth it because, in so doing, we can help empower the farmworker community through health and safety education, resources, and advocacy in hopes that these families can live full, healthy, and safe lives.
As the year ends, AFOP Health & Safety Program staff cannot pass up the opportunity to express their gratitude for all the support we’ve received to help the farmworker community. 2019 brought many changes and challenges, but, with love and hard work, we navigated through them all to successfully serve a wonderful population that feeds this country: the farmworkers.
We know we can count on you for your continued support, so cheers to you, your family, the farmworker community – and to an exciting new year!