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EPA Celebrates National Farmworker Awareness Week

This original announcement was published by the EPA on March 25, 2021. Click here for more information.

 

From March 25 to March 31, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) celebrates National Farmworker Awareness Week to recognize the more than two million agricultural workers that help feed our families.

The health and safety of America’s farmworker communities is a priority for EPA. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring agricultural workers and pesticide handlers are provided with access to information and health protections similar to those already afforded to workers in other industries.

EPA provides resources and conducts initiatives to protect the well-being of farmworkers and their communities, including:

  • Worker protection: EPA implements programs and regulations that are critical to the protection of farmworkers. EPA’s Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) aims to prevent and reduce pesticide poisonings and injuries among agricultural workers and pesticide handlers. Less pesticide exposure means a healthier workforce and fewer lost wages, medical bills, and absences from work.
  • Information accessibility: EPA’s WPS also requires that pesticide safety information be approachable and displayed for workers during their working hours. To increase accessibility, EPA developed new pesticide safety posters in multiple languages. The new WPS posters are available on  EPA’s Worker Protection Standards Materials webpage.
  • Risk management: EPA scientists thoroughly review pesticide data to determine possible risk to human health and the environment, ensuring that if risks of concern to workers are identified, risk management measures are put in place.
  • Safety training: EPA awards grants to fund projects to educate pesticide applicators, handlers and farmworkers on working safely with, and around, pesticides. Most recently, EPA awarded a five-year cooperative agreement in the amount of $2,500,000 to the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) to support the National Farmworker Training Program. Through its previous 2015-2020 cooperative agreement with EPA, AFOP trained 184,000 farmworkers on pesticide safety.
  • Community and rural outreach: The agency’s cooperative agreements help increase the reach and scope of pesticide safety educational programs and ensure tailored outreach to farmworkers and their families in rural agricultural areas. This summer, EPA plans to award an estimated $1.2 million annually through a five-year cooperative agreement to fund outreach projects that support and promote safe pesticide use including community-based projects that focus on reaching farmworkers, agricultural pesticide handlers, their families and communities.

To learn more about EPA’s efforts to protect farmworkers, pesticide handlers and their families, visit EPA’s Occupational Pesticide Safety and Health homepage.

EPA Awards $2.5 Million to the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs for Farmworker Pesticide Training

This original announcement was published by the EPA on November 19, 2020. Click here for more information!

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) to receive up to $500,000 annually to conduct pesticide safety training across the country over the next five years. With EPA funding, AFOP will administer this grant to provide occupational health and safety trainings to migrant and seasonal farmworkers in more than 25 states through a network of over 200 trainers.

“EPA is pleased to continue working with the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs as we work toward our common goal of protecting our farmworkers and their families,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Alexandra Dapolito Dunn. “This exciting partnership complements our Agricultural Worker Protection Standard perfectly and will develop national pesticide safety training, education, and outreach for farmworkers and their families in rural agricultural areas.”

“AFOP is delighted to continue working with EPA to provide pesticide safety instruction to the nation’s farmworkers. Together with EPA, we touch real lives by empowering agricultural workers with the knowledge they need to better protect themselves, their homes, and their families from pesticide exposure,” said AFOP Executive Director Daniel Sheehan. “Agriculture is ranked consistently as one of, if not the, most dangerous of occupations. Through EPA’s support, AFOP is able to help make that job a whole lot safer.”

As the recipient of the cooperative agreement, AFOP will continue to enhance safe working conditions for agricultural workers at local, state and national levels, with targeted outreach to low-income, low-literacy, and non-English speaking farmworkers.

Through its previous 2015-2020 cooperative agreement with EPA, AFOP trained 184,000 farmworkers and 30,000 children on pesticide safety. This work was made possible through EPA’s National Farmworker Training grant program which focuses on training educators to teach agricultural workers and their families how to reduce the risks from pesticide exposure. For more information, visit EPA’s Pesticide Worker Safety Cooperative Agreements webpage.