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 800,000 farmworkers receiving cards showing that they were trained in pesticide safety—a WPS 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.