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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.

Food Chain, Farmworkers, and Congresswoman Lee


There always seems to be more to do in a day than there are hours!


For almost a year, a dedicated group of people have been tirelessly working to bring about farmworker justice.  They are not your normal activists… They are not standing on the picket line, they are not fighting big agro-business in the courtroom, nor are they not organizing rallies.  Instead, they are using the power of the media, and more specifically film, to tell the story of American Farmworkers.


Check the full article in our blog

'Potential train wreck coming': Farmworkers in shorter supply in Southwest Florida

By TRACY X. MIGUEL / Naplesnews
Published Thursday, June 7, 2012


In the heat of immigration debate across the nation, increased border patrol and the recovering economy, Southwest Florida farms are struggling to get workers through the season.

Chuck Obern, owner of C & B Farms, a vegetable farm, in the Devil's Garden growing area in Hendry County, said he has struggled to find farmworkers in the last couple of years.


Report: Female farmworkers at risk for sex abuse

Grace Meng

Sunday, June 3, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle


Four years ago, "Patricia M." was working in an almond orchard in California. She was 23 years old, had come from Mexico only two years earlier and had no family in the United States. She says the foreman "bothered" her at first, offering her food and drink and telling her he could get her work. This made Patricia uncomfortable, so she always refused. On the end of the third day, the foreman dropped all the other workers off, but he took her to a remote field and raped her.




Together in the struggle for justice!


Today, we are launching our Letter Writing Campaign to Governor Rick Scott to express our deep disappointment in his veto of funding for the clinic in Apopka to help with the serious health care problems of the former Lake Apopka farmworkers.  $500,000 to address chronic, serious illness for people who worked all their lives so that we could have food seems like such a small price to pay for a people who have so marginalized and practically forgotten.  We will not let them down and we will not forget them!  Please help us reach our goal of sending 200 letters to the office of Governor Scott.  A SAMPLE LETTER is attached. 


We have lowered the quality to improve the streaming of the sample.


Lighthouse Project

What We Do: Estimated 12,000 farmworkers toil in fields of Immokalee

By Tracy X. Miguel - naplesnews.com April 22, 2012


Cristobal Calzada Guillen, 59, waits on the bus headed to a farm in Immokalee on April 3. Calzada Guillen has been a farmworker in Immokalee for 32 years, making $600 to $700 a month. He is currently helping harvest citrus at D&K Harvesting. Cristobal Calzada Guillen has spent more than half of his life picking crops in the fields near Immokalee. For the past 32 years, waking up at the crack of dawn to work under the sun, rain or cold has become his routine. "It's hard," the 59-year-old man said in Spanish.

Senate Bill 1070


After standing in a state of unknown for the past two years, the United States has finally taken up the historic immigration and civil rights case, Arizona vs. United States.  At the heart of the issue lies Arizona’s 2010 immigration law, Senate Bill 1070 (SB 1070). To the dismay of many advocates and allies within the immigrant rights community, the court case solely focused on whether or not the federal

Woman to Woman Conference


3rd Annual Woman to Woman Conference was a huge success!


With over 100 women and their children in attendance, this year's Conference will be one for the records!  The Farmworker Association of Florida, in partnership with the Women's Studies Department at the University of Central Florida, the Youth and Young Adult Network of the National Farmworker Ministry,

Call your Senators


We need the 2501 to help farmers move out
of poverty, save farms , and create jobs.

The senate ag. committee will probably present its farm bill mark up this week. It is believed that section 2501 will not be included. Section 2501 provides outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged  farmers and communities around farming and agriculture related businesses. This is an important asset building tool that has been in the bill for over 20 years. It is critical that 2501 remain in the bill and is fully funded at the 2008 level. 



Donor Challenge


Over the next 10 days (April 17 - April 26), the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will match dollar-for-dollar every donation made to the Southern Partners Fund, Inc! This is an incredibly generous offering made by the Kellogg Foundation.  But most of all, it is much needed!  It is because of your support that the Southern Partners Fund is able to continue working to overcome social, economic, and political barriers placed against poor, Southern communities.

It's Here at Last!

The veredict of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal on the six major pesticides companies!


For over four years, the Farmworker Association of Florida has worked with Pesticide Action Network North America and Pesticide Action Network international in developing a case to go before an international peoples’ court – the Permanent Peoples Tribunal – that tried the six largest pesticide manufacturing companies on human rights violations of the right to health and to safe communities due to exposure to harmful pesticides. 


Via Campesina calls

Via Campesina calls for movements and organizations
to engage in resistance on April 17

Natasha Pitts-Adital
Wednesday April 4, 2012

17_DE_ABRIL_CLOCTo say no to land concentration and the fit of these from the hands of those who care and work, Via Campesina is making an important call with a view to Apr. 17, International Day of Peasant Struggle. Fishermen movements, social organizations, student groups, environmental and social justice fighting for are being invited to strengthen popular resistance against land concentration and corporate control of natural and agricultural goods.

Marches, video projections, land occupations, debates, art exhibitions and demonstrations are some of the activities suggested by Via Campesina to call attention to this global problem. Via Campesina calls all activities are reported (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it) and also the organizers of the initiatives send photos, videos and information about it.

Your Strawberries are safer today

Your Strawberries (and the People Who Grow Them) Are Safer Today

March 23, 2012


Strawberries methyl iodide

Good riddance to one of the most toxic chemicals in conventional agriculture’s arsenal. Battered by environmentalists and farmworkers and entangled in a lawsuit, Arysta LifeScience, the Japanese company that sells the fumigant methyl iodide, has decided to pull the pesticide from the market in the United States. “The decision was made as part of an internal review of the fumigant based on its economic viability in the U.S.,” the company said in a press release.

Methyl iodide, or iodomethane, is injected into the soil prior to planting, where it sets about killing all living organisms -- every insect, worm, bacteria, fungus, and virus. “It’s like chemotherapy,” one horticulturalist told me. The chemical is particularly popular among strawberry and tomato growers (see “Kicking the Chemical Habit”).


Victory for Farmworkers and the Environment!

Toxic Pesticide is Pulled from the Market!

Everyone’s hard work has paid off!  Methyl iodide – the toxic pesticide that was approved for use on tomatoes and strawberries in Florida – has been pulled from the market by the manufacturing company, Arysta LifeScience!  This is truly a victory for all the hard work that the Farmworker Association of Florida and its allies, Pesticide Action Network, the Migrant Farmworker Justice Project, National Farm Worker Ministry and others have done over the past few years. (See the article here)

Congratulations to all our supporters who have signed petitions,

YAYA at the Community Garden

On Saturday, February 11, 2012, YAYA volunteered working in the community garden of Fellsmere, about an hour and a half south of Orlando. The weather when we left carpooling from Orlando was brisk, but sure enough, when we arrived in Fellsmere it was sunny, warm and welcoming. The perfect day to get ones hands dirty.

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