AFOP organizes and coordinates a continuous and successful effort to keep the National Farmworker Jobs Program funded, one of the most effective job training programs operated by the U.S. Department of Labor. It is also the only Labor program that targets farmworkers. This multi-year campaign has resulted in over 60,000 farmworkers being launched into careers with family-sustaining incomes and benefits since 2002, overcoming an eight year attempt to eliminate the program.

Children in the Fields Campaign

AFOP’s Health & Safety Programs operates the largest and most extensive national program of pesticide safety for farmworkers in the country. Each year, AFOP provides a variety of federally approved trainings on pesticide safety and heat-related illness to over 30,000 farmworkers, resulting in reduced injuries and illnesses as well as helping growers comply with federal law. By continuing to expand this important program, we hope to reach more and more farmworkers and their employers to prevent avoidable tragedies.

Children in the Fields Campaign

AFOP’s Children in the Fields Campaign works to improve the quality of life for migrant and seasonal farmworker children through community organizing, public education, and advocacy. The campaign has formed coalitions, youth councils, and developed Congressional champions to end the discrimination in the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under that law, children as young as 12-years-old are legally allowed to labor in agriculture for an unlimited amount of hours outside of school, using dangerous farm equipment and working in an environment that continually exposes them to toxic pesticides—conditions deemed illegal in every other industry and that can lead to serious injury or even death.

A case for support

The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs’ (AFOP) mission is to improve the lives of America’s farmworkers and their families via education, training, and advocacy.

AFOP’s work on behalf of farmworkers must continue and be strengthened in the coming years, especially as federal, local, and state resources are jeopardized by the deficit reduction climate in this country.

Farm work is extremely low-wage work and subject to dislocation caused by severe weather and crop failure. Most farmworkers earn less than $10,000 per year from what is often backbreaking and dangerous labor. AFOP and its member organizations serve farmworkers in 49 states and Puerto Rico. We provide job training, pesticide safety education, emergency assistance, and an advocacy voice for the people who prepare and harvest our food.  Many member organizations operate a variety of programs in addition to the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Farmworker Jobs Program, including Head Start, education, and housing counseling.

The Association also operates train the trainer pesticide safety programs for farmworkers under AFOP’s Health & Safety Programs division. Funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Labor, AFOP trains outreach workers in member agencies and related organizations in the Worker Protection Standard (WPS), Heat Stress Prevention, and in the latest techniques and materials. The trainers at the local level then conduct trainings for groups of farmworkers to help them understand and protect themselves for the dangers of pesticides. Since 1995, these train the trainer programs resulted in over 350,000 farmworkers receiving cards certifying that they were trained in pesticide safety—a requirement for all farmworkers exposed to the hazards of fields treated with chemical pesticides. Hundreds of thousands of family members, children, and community agencies have also received training on pesticide safety.

AFOP advocates for policies that benefit and protect agricultural workers. Through its newsletter, the Association communicates the latest facts and trends in the world of farmworker services and advocacy. Called the Washington Newsline, this publication is a valuable tool for farmworker organizations, AFOP member agencies, and policymakers.

The Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports its national staff, offices, and programs primarily from grants, membership fees, and contributions.

Please explore the links above to learn more about the organization.

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