May 30, 2023
Convention Focuses on Farmworker Well being, Security, and Rights

Agriculture is among the most harmful industries within the U.S.

Farmworkers are an important a part of California’s agriculture. But, they’re weak as a result of language limitations, well being and questions of safety from the labor-intensive work, immigration standing and financial obstacles.

To deal with these points, the UC Davis Western Heart for Agricultural Well being and Security (WCAHS) and Comite Civico del Valle (CCV) held a first-of-its-kind convention particularly designed for farmworkers in California.

Roughly 200 farmworkers attended the occasion, Conferencia Campesina de Salud y Bienestar, held on March 24 within the Imperial Valley in Calexico, Calif.

Convention Focuses on Farmworker Well being, Security, and Rights
From left: Imran Khan, Teresa Andrews, Fani Villanueva, Heather Riden and Yajaira Ramirez Sigala from WCAHS.

“Our objective for this occasion was to middle farmworkers and their priorities. It was an inspiring day that highlighted the resiliency of employees and the dedication of native organizations like CCV that serve them,” stated Heather Riden, program director for WCAHS.

WCAHS is a middle within the Division of Public Well being Sciences on the UC Davis College of Medication. Its mission is to enhance the well being and security of agricultural employees within the West by way of revolutionary analysis, interactive coaching and tailor-made outreach.

The Statewide Agriculture and Farmworker Schooling (SAFE) Program funded the convention.

Esther Bejarano, applications supervisor at CCV, welcomed the attendees. “I wish to thank all of you for being right here, for taking your time. This can be a historic day. I’m very glad. This can be a dream for me that got here true because of the SAFE Program.”

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Crowd of attendees

Concentrate on farmworker well being and security

All of the displays on the convention centered on farmworker well being, security and rights.

Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, a professor of inside medication and the director of the Heart for Lowering Well being Disparities, gave the keynote tackle discussing farmworker well being and wellness.

Teresa Andrews, an schooling and outreach specialist at WCAHS, offered the session “The Change Begins with You.”

Afternoon actions included a “Pláticas en Confianza” (“Conversations in Belief”) session, in addition to displays on pesticide security, labor legal guidelines and compensation, immigration rights and extra.

A woman holds down a white piece of paper on a table with a pile of name tags with green lanyards.
Conferencia Campesina de Salud y Bienestar attracted greater than 200 members.

Along with the displays, WCAHS and different organizations had tables with free sources for farmworkers.

The occasion was nicely obtained by the attendees.

One participant, a lettuce employee, stated, “These talks enrich us all. Greater than something, for our rights, for understanding methods to defend ourselves. Data is energy, and so you need to observe it, you need to comply with, and you need to be fixed. You must really need it as a result of if we don’t care for ourselves, no one goes to care for us, so don’t take this identical to that—evenly. Preserve this in thoughts as a result of it is going to serve us now, and it’ll serve us eternally.”

The organizers famous a few of the classes they realized on the occasion:

  • Farmworkers developed a deeper sense of neighborhood and felt enriched by the matters and conversations.
  • Holding a convention for farmworkers is a brand new, thrilling solution to attain farmworkers that compliments different outreach occasions.
  • There’s worth in holding conversations and providing areas the place farmworkers really feel snug voicing their concepts and questions.

One other farmworker attendee expressed gratitude. “I wish to thank your entire Comite [Civico del Valle] for the trouble you make to deliver all farmworkers collectively and provides us details about our rights. I believe that the opposite colleagues who’re working, who went to work, we’re going to inform them that hopefully we may have them right here with us sooner or later. I do know that unity is energy.”


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