Commentary

Farmworker Awareness Week events show scope of challenges farmworkers face

Workers carrying banana peppers at Kenda Farms 2003 (PBP)Our friends at Student Action with Farmworkers are very busy this week, sponsoring and promoting events for Farmworker Awareness Week. The schedule of events, posted here, shows the range of issues important to the people who harvest our food. Films highlighting farmworkers’ stories and dreams for the future show the rich heritage and cultural contributions brought to North Carolina by farmworkers who have traveled from near and far. Through discussions of immigration policy we learn why broad and inclusive immigration reform is critical to providing farmworkers with a voice in the workplace and a path to permanency. The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs‘ long sleeve shirt drive is a stark reminder of the dangers of pesticide exposure in the fields. A presentation on current laws impacting farmworkers exposes the doctrine of agricultural exceptionalism, which affects farmworker eligibility for everything from worker’s compensation benefits to collective bargaining. Check out one of the great opportunities for a chance to learn more about the more than 130,000 farmworkers and their family members in North Carolina!

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