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County’s first Certified Organic farm

By Carrie A. Mizell at gilchristcountyjournal

The Family Garden, a certified organic farm owned by Jordan Brown of Bell is now marketing sweet potato, bell pepper, eggplant, greens, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, radish, hot peppers, sweet peppers, kale and collards.
Brown uses no synthetic fertilizers on the 25 acres of land he plants each year. Instead, the South Florida native builds the soil with manure, cover crops and fertilizer from animal waste.

Pests and diseases are managed with crop rotation and diversity, timing plantings correctly and microbial applications formulated to fight targets pests and promote health.
Every fruit and vegetable that is grown at The Family Garden is Certified Organic and something that Jordan and Diwa Brown feel good about feeding their four children.

Campaigns field thousands to get out the vote

The political campaigns are not alone. Hispanic organizations, including La Raza, Mi Familia Vota and The LIBRE Initiative; Muslim-American groups such as EMERGE USA; and other groups such as the Apopka-based Farmworker Association of Florida and Orlando-based Federation of Congregations United To Serve are running get-out-the-vote campaigns, and many are providing rides.
By Scott Powers and Jim Stratton, Orlando Sentinel

Immokalee protesters against renewal of 287 g

Story Created: Oct 21, 2012 at 10:58 PM America/New_York

IMMOKALEE, Fla. - About 150 people holding signs, marching and chanting gathered at the Collier Sheriff's Office in Immokalee to protest a controversial immigration partnership known as 287 g.

1,700 signed petitions were delivered to Sheriff Kevin Rambosk.

Pesticides Harm Kids' Health and Intelligence, Study Finds

SAN FRANCISCO – Exposure to pesticides is one key reason why children today are more likely to have a wide range of such diseases and disorders as cancer, autism, birth defects and asthma than children of a generation ago, according a study released yesterday.

Collier among most active in U.S. in 287(g) deportation program; will it be renewed?


Sunday, October 7, 2012

NAPLES — Since a much-debated immigration enforcement program started in Collier County five years ago, the Sheriff's Office has detained enough unauthorized immigrants to fill every other seat at a Germain Arena concert.

Apopka farmworkers upset at Arizona immigration law

By Susan Jacobson, Orlando Sentinel
May 3, 2010


The woman was walking to work when a police officer asked her for identification and arrested her on an illegal-immigration charge.

Today, however, the "jail" was made of tinfoil and duct tape, and the arrest was part of a skit designed to raise awareness of the new Arizona immigration law opponents contend is racist and will lead to harassment of Hispanics.

Environmental Youth Summit

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
September 16, 2012

Tahmia Welch, 14, from left, and her cousins, who are triplets, Brittney, Ashley and Caitlin Bright, 16, meet with Antonio Tova, at left, with the Farmworker Association of Florida during the Environmental Youth Summit at the GRU Eastside Operations Center Saturday, September 15, 2012. (Photo by Doug Finger/ Staff Photographer)

FWAF joins Allies at Action at Darden Shareholders Meeting in Orlando

As a new member of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, FWAF supported an action that was organized by an ally group which is taking a stand for workers in the restaurant industry.

On Tuesday, September 18th ROC, the Restaurant Opportunity Centers United, protested at the Darden company shareholders meeting in Lake Buena Vista, Florida by asking those with a stake in the company, “what is sustainable about a minimum wage that is the same as it was in 1991 and how do you justify a refusal to grant employees sick leave?” The Darden family of restaurants includes Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse,

You rock, Rollins!

View the embedded image gallery online at:

On Saturday August 25th a group of incoming freshmen students from Rollins College visited the FWAF office in Apopka to participate in a Be A Part from the Start day event.  This program encourages students to do service for different organizations around the Central Florida area.  In Apopka they planted fruit trees and pepper plants that FWAF will share with the community.  This was a great experience for these young college freshmen and a tremendous opportunity to learn more about the farmworker experiences coming to this country and the dangers and challenges they faced.  You rock, Rollins!

Rollins College students for SPARC Day

On Saturday, August 18, the Farmworker Association of Florida hosted 17 Rollins College students for SPARC Day.  SPARC (Service, Philanthropy, Activism, Rollins College) is an annual event coordinated by Rollins' Office of Community Engagement, which involves entering college students in a day of service learning with several nonprofit organizations throughout Central Florida.  FWAF provided an educational program, followed by all of us working together in the Apopka Community Garden, alongside garden members.  The event provided students with information on farmworkers' essential role in the food system and efforts to increase local food production by community members in Apopka.  SPARC was an opportunity to "ignite a spark of passion to lead a life of service"!



We need your help! The Farmworker Association of Florida a finalist for a grant from the Rural Digital Advocacy Grant program. Our project, the Rural Florida Communications Project, will train rural community-based organizations that work with farmworkers, immigrants, and low-income persons to utilize Skype for video conferencing to advance advocacy and policy change activities. But we need your support! Please vote for us and share with your friends! With your support, we will be able to receive this important grant money, and help facilitate positive social change!

"Food Chain" Takes a Hard Look at Farmworkers' Lives

by Joanne Camas

July 10, 2012 at Epicurious

Film producer Sanjay Rawal has turned his camera on farmworkers and their hardscrabble working and living conditions in his new documentary, Food Chain.

Rawal has had 15 years of experience working for governments and nonprofits, and started making films three years ago. His first two films, Ocean Monk and Challenging Impossibility, have won several film festival awards.

So why look at farm workers now? "My academic background is in biology, and I'm also involved in my dad's tomato-breeding business," Rawal told Epicurious. "That's what gave me access and insight into the world of farm labor."

Who's Watching Out for Farm Workers Left Out in the Heat?

Hernan Vera at huffingtonpost.com

Sixteen-year-old Nicholas Chavez had a summer job in 2011. But unlike many boys his age, Nicholas' summer job consisted of helping his parents pick bell peppers in the scorching fields outside Bakersfield, California.

Last July, with temperatures still above 106 degrees in the evening, Nicholas joined his parents for a nine-hour shift starting at 6:00 p.m. Three hours later, Nicholas felt sick from the heat and the lack of water, and began to vomit. The farm labor contractor and foreman left him at the side of the road, and told him not to return the next day.

Go, Adan!!!!!!!

Latinos in Immokalee still weary of checkpoints

By Andre Senior in WFTX-TV

IMMOKALEE, Fla. - Safety checkpoints by the Collier County Sheriff's Department continues to draw suspicion from Hispanics in the Immokalee community. Many of them believe that the only reason that the checkpoints are in place is to track those who are undocumented, an accusation that the sheriff's department denies. "In Immokalee a lot of families feel alarmed and a lot of them feel terrorized because they're not sure if their family members will be coming home that day," said Adan Iabra, an advocate for farm workers in the area.

Latinos cast wary eye at high court's ruling on Ariz. law

Susanne Cervenka FLORIDA TODAY
Jun 25, 2012

FELLSMERE— Yolanda Gomez wears her U.S. passport around her neck when she Immigration Fellsmere Yolandagoes to the state capital to lobby for the migrant farm workers in Fellsmere.

She admits it’s an extreme measure, but it nips questions about her citizenship, which have resulted from requirements like those in Arizona’s immigrations laws, before they start.

“For the way I look, people try to speak Spanish to me,” said Gomez, a U.S. citizen since the 1980s and a community organizer for the Farmworker Association of Florida.

Farmworkers plagued by pesticides, red tape


By Ronnie Greene June 25, 2012


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Laboring in the blackberry fields of central Arkansas, the 18-year-old Mexican immigrant suddenly turned ill. Her nose began to bleed, her skin developed a rash, and she vomited.


The doctor told her it was most likely flu or bacterial infection, but farmworker Tania Banda-Rodriguez suspected pesticides. Under federal law, growers must promptly report the chemicals they spray.

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