4384.0 Occupational Health Disparities Institute: Farmworkers Feed Us All

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 4:30 PM
Farmworkers are the backbone of the agricultural economy. Without them we wouldn't have the nourishing food that keeps us healthy and productive. Yet agriculture remains the one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Largely from Mexico and other Central American countries, migrant farmworkers are a unique segment of the workforce in United States. Factors such as lack of training, poor safety precautions, language barriers, piece-rate pay, undocumented worker status, and geographical and cultural isolation can put these workers at increased risk for occupationally related injuries and illnesses. During Maine's 2007 Harvest Season, a photojournalist and an audio producer/documentarian embarked on a project to interview and photograph farmworkers working in Maine's wild blueberry, apple, cranberry, broccoli, egg, dairy and forestry harvests. This work culminated in an exhibit commemorating farmworkers' lives and working experiences. By bringing the experience of these workers to life, this exhibit hopes to contribute to the ongoing efforts to improve agricultural working conditions and farmworkers' access to basic services in Maine and throughout the United States. This session will present a condensed version of the photo exhibit and multi-media slideshow, describe how the project developed and the fieldwork required, and then finally discuss the ongoing impact of the traveling exhibit. This session will expand and follow up on last year's presentation by some contributors to this project.
Session Objectives: Describe the living and working conditions of farmworkers working in key crops of Maine. Discuss best practices for reaching farmworkers in the field and encouraging them to tell their stories. Describe the role of artistic endeavors in illustrating occupational health and safety issues.
Amy K. Liebman, MA, MPA

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Occupational Health and Safety
Endorsed by: Socialist Caucus

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)