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National Farmworker Awareness Week

Got food? Thank a farmworker

National Farmworker Awareness Week
March 24 – 31, 2014


National Farmworker Awareness Week (NFAW) is a week of action for students and community members to raise awareness about farmworker issues on our campuses and in our communities. In 2014 we celebrate the 15th Annual National Farmworker Awareness Week to raise awareness about farmworker conditions and to honor their important contributions to us every day!

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Daughter of Farmworkers Lobbies in DC for Better Working Conditions

It’s a tolerable 40 degrees in Mount Dora, Florida, where 18-year-old Selena Zelaya is from. Instead of hanging out with friends or working at her part-time job at McDonald’s, Zelaya braved the freezing temperatures in DC to lobby on an issue close to her heart: Farmworker protections. It’s her second time lobbying in DC on this issue.
“I’m a very shy person. It takes a lot to make me talk,” Zelaya says. “But it was an issue I had to speak up about. When it’s something important, I like to speak my mind.”
Both of Zelaya’s parents are farmworkers in their home state of Florida, and Selena came back to DC this week to meet with congressional and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) representatives to continue pushing for improvements to the weak and outdated Worker Protection Standard (WPS), which sets agricultural worker safety standards for pesticide use, but has not been updated or revised for more than 20 years. Public interest environmental group Earthjustice, Farmworker Association of Florida and several other farmworker advocacy organizations are leading the effort to push for these stronger protections.

Farmworkers to Brave Freezing Temperatures to Travel to D.C.

Fed up with regulations that do not go far enough to protect them from exposure to toxic pesticides, farmworkers from Florida and North Carolina are on the move and going to Washington, DC. As they travel, they will be braving freezing cold temperatures in order to advocate for themselves, their families, their communities and for our food supply, and to let decision makers know that pesticide protections benefit us all. They will be meeting with officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and with members of Congress to insist that stronger Worker Protection Standards be adopted and enacted. The Worker Protection Standards were first established over 20 years ago and have not been updated to reflect the new scientific knowledge that now links long-term pesticide exposure to chronic illnesses and to health impacts on the second generation.

Bayer fined for endangering farmworkers

Article taken from: Pesticide Action Network

EPA recently fined Bayer CropSciences $53,000 for endangering the lives of farmworkers with pesticide exposure in their Puerto Rican research and nursery operations. While this is a tiny drop in Bayer's multi-million dollar budget, we do take it as an encouraging sign.

The good news: When rules are enforced — in this case, the federal Worker Protection Standards (WPS) — employers are held accountable for protecting workers from exposure to hazardous pesticides. The less good news: Enforcement actions like this one are all too rare, and the WPS itself is old, inadequate and in serious need of an upgrade.

But there's more good news. That upgrade is finally happening, and we’re working with partners around the country to make sure the revised law does right by the workers it’s designed to protect. In the Puerto Rico case, Bayer CropScience failed to comply with several requirements of the existing WPS. Pesticide use did not follow label requirements, nor did the employer provide ample water, soap and towels for routine washing or an emergency decontamination area for workers.

Thank you Winn Dixie!

The Farmworker Association of Florida received a grant in the amount of $20,000 from Bi-Lo Winn Dixie to support the community garden projects in farmworker communities.  Here, FWAF staff members Holly Baker and Yolanda Gomez receive a check from the Bi-Lo Winn Dixie representative.  The funds will be used to maintain and expand the community garden in Fellsmere, and to initiate new gardens in Pierson and Homestead.  Thank you Winn Dixie!

International Human Rights Day on December 10th!

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was created 64 years ago on 12/10/48. The UDHR has since become the most widely recognized and accepted human rights contract in history.


A handful of pesticide corporations are putting our health, our environment, and farmworkers at risk.  With their toxic chemicals and GMOs, they are running roughshod over our basic human rights.
It is time to hold Monsanto and the rest of the "Big 6" to account. And, the next 5 days leading up to International Human Rights Day on December 10th is a good time to do it!
Send a message today (Click Here)  Join us in sending a simple, powerful message to government officials: It's time to hold Monsanto & Co. accountable for the harms they inflict.

A Dime a Day

 The impact of the Miller/Harkin minimum wage proposal on the price of food.

Opponents of raising the federal minimum wage often argue that, while the increase in wages may benefit low-wage workers, it will also increase the cost of food and other basic goods, thus hurting the very people the minimum wage increase is intended to help. In this report, we examine this argument by providing a detailed analysis of the potential increase in food prices of new legislation proposed by Congressmember George Miller (D-CA) in the House of Representatives and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) in the Senate that would increase the minimum wage to $9.80 over a three-year period in $0.85 increments, as well as increase the tipped minimum wage, which currently stands at $2.13, in similar increments until it reaches 70% of the full federal minimum.


See full report here

"Take Action on November 25 and during IFWW week to Tweet you Support of Protections for Farmworkers"

Farmworkers feed the world. They provide us with the food that we eat every day, yet, they are still often the ‘invisible ones’ – people whose hard work is often unknown, unacknowledged or ignored. To provide us our food, flowers and houseplants, farmworkers are often exposed to very harsh and difficult working conditions in the fields, ferneries and greenhouses where they work. They perform some of the hardest work in our country and yet are among the least protected people in the nation.

More than 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides are applied to crops annually in the United States[i], with farmworkers facing a greater threat from exposure  to these chemicals than any other sector of society.

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Sign the petition to EPA (scroll down to fill out the form)

Homestead-Miami Speedway

FWAF Community Organizers Elvira Carvajal and Claudia Gonzalez attended the Homestead-Miami Speedway pre-race ceremony as special guests. The Speedway has awarded FWAF a grant in the amount of $10,000 to support the establishment of a community garden by and for farmworker families. Land for the garden is being provided by the City of Florida City.

Fellsmere: Community Garden goes to the Farmers Market

Members and volunteers of the Fellsmere Community Garden (established in 2010) have begun selling excess fruits, vegetables, and herbs at the new Fellsmere Farmers Market.  Here, FWAF Community Organizer Yolanda Gomez sets up the table for the market on Saturday, November 9.  The proceeds from the sales contribute to the sustainability of the garden, which provides locally-grown, chemical-free produce to more than 100 families in the farmworker community.  Through this project, farmworkers are using their growing knowledge to benefit their own families and community by improving access to good, healthy, clean fresh foods!

The Lake Apopka Environmental Justice Community


“Orlando Fifteen” Immigration Reform Leaders Arrested

“Orlando Fifteen” Immigration Reform Leaders and “Original” DREAMers Arrested in Act of Civil Disobedience
After New York City’s “Varick Ten” blocked the street today, sixteen immigration advocates and moms of DREAMers in downtown Orlando hold civil disobedience action to escalate national pressure on Speaker Boehner to clear the path for immigration reform.
Click here to see the news at WFTV channel

Tirso Moreno hablando de Reforma Migratoria

Queridos Amigos:
Tirso Moreno, coordinador general de la Asociación Campesina habló acerca de la Reforma Migratoria con el productor de Mañanitas Hispanoamericanas. Durante la entrevista, Tirso también se refirió a los planes de salud, derechos de los inmigrantes y al mes de la herencia hispana. Los invitamos a escuchar esta entrevista por mananitas hispanoamericanas.
Por favor envie sus comentarios a: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Healthy Living Workshop

On October 22, 2013, the Farmworker Association of Florida hosted a Healthy Living Workshop, led by Vivett Payne, a member of the Apopka Community Garden with a background in public health. The event was attended by 25 community members and included tips for a healthy lifestyle, as well as a cooking demonstration. This workshop was organized in response to data collected through the Apopka Community Food Assessment, which indicated that community members would be more likely to increase their fresh food consumption if they had access to classes on health and nutrition.

¡Reforma Migratoria Ahora!

El Sábado 5 de octubre, más de 400 personas marcharon por la Calle Ocho en la Pequeña Habana para demandar una Reforma Migratoria AHORA! Pidieron a los Representantes Diaz-Balart y Ros-Lehtinen que actúen para asegurar que el Congreso vote por una proyecto de ley con camino a la ciudadanía antes de que termine el año!
La Asociación Campesina estuvo presente con 24 delegados de Homestead.
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