January 19, 2018  |  VIEW IN BROWSER

From the Desk of the Executive Director

Daniel Sheehan, AFOP Executive Director (1/12)

On behalf of the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP), I would like to wish you and yours a very happy 2018.  Without question, this coming year will be exceedingly consequential, not only for the administration and Congress, but also for the AFOP members and the farmworkers and families they serve.  I have heard that the Chinese character for crisis consists of the character for danger combined with the symbol for opportunity.  Whether that is actually true or not, I cannot say, but it certainly describes AFOP members’ situation to a T. [Read More]

Inside AFOP

NFJP Success Story: Client Benefits from Opportunity Passport Program Proteus (11/21)

Courtney participated in the Opportunity Passport program and was able to
purchase a car to help her get to school and work. Photo courtesy of Proteus.
During her initial meeting, Courtney shared that she detasseled corn in the summers. Because of that work, her case manager was able to enroll Courtney in the National Farmworkers Job Program as well as collaborate with other agencies such as the Nebraska Department of Labor WIOA Youth Program and Blue Valley Community Action’s Connected Youth Initiative Program and Opportunity Passport™. These agencies have been instrumental in assisting Courtney into college and on her way to a productive life. [Read More]

AFOP Member Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC of Washington)
Delivers Webinar in Collaboration with DOL on its Model Career Pathways Network (12/4)

In this webinar, participants learned about a model Career Pathways partnership between the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) grantee Opportunities Industrialization Center of Washington, Columbia Basin College, the Benton Franklin workforce system and regional businesses. This dynamic network works hard to be nimble and provide stackable certificate and training programs that respond directly to business needs and connect jobseekers to new careers.

View the recording and related materials here.

OIC Washington Makes National News with Successful College Training Initiative

Employment and Training Reporter (12/11)

OIC has partnered with the American Jobs Center and Columbia Basin College in a novel training and credentialing program that recently earned national attention. 

[Read More]

Proteus Releases December Newsletter


Proteus is doing some great things. Read on to learn more!
December 2017

Header Image


Taking care of our people. One at a time.


We provide education, health care and job training.

Read more about the great ways Proteus is improving the quality of life for others.


Veteran Benefits from Proteus Assistance

After struggling to keep up with bills while he was working on his degree, Brandon was excited to hear about the assistance Proteus provides to support more...

[Read Full Newsletter Here]

PathStone’s January 2018 Newsletter




January 2018


 "Do Your Best And Then A Little More!"



A word from Stuart J. Mitchell, 

President/CEO of PathStone... 




As we say goodbye to 2017, I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your support of our work throughout another challenging and yet very productive year. As I often point out, we view our connection to those we serve as a partnership and along with a juxtaposition of dreams, hard work and personal integrity we build a foundation for our interactions with families and communities as we help them achieve their goals. [Read More]

2016 PathStone Annual Report

[Read Full Newsletter Here] 

PathStone Puerto Rico Releases New Recruiting Video

PathStone Puerto Rico released a new video in November 2017 that highlights some of the successful placements they have achieved for their participants in welding, firefighting, clerical settings, and more. 

Click here for the full video in English.

MAFO Announces Registration for its 2018 National Farmworker Conference and Convention

The 2018 MAFO national conference will be held at the Hotel Albuquerque in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from Sunday, April 8, until Wednesday, April 11.  Topics covered include Workforce Solutions, Health Care, Communities Issues, Rural Capacity Building, Immigration, and Education.  Early-bird registration ends February 19th.

 The registration form is here:  [Click Here]

MAFO Farmworker Leadership Award Nominations Now Open

The MAFO Corporate Board of Directors will honor and recognize excellence and dedication of individuals, particularly, those who do outreach, performs hard work and whose efforts many times go unrecognized or unrewarded.  To honor those efforts, MAFO has established two categories of awards: the Leadership, Unity, Professional and Excellence (L.U.P.E.) Award, and the Government Employee Leadership Award (G.E.L.A.). These awards are presented at the annual National Farmworker Conference. The Awards honor outstanding individual achievements in carrying out the MAFO concept of dedication and hard work on behalf of, and for farmworkers.

 Nomination Deadline is February 19, 2018. [Read More]

AFOP Health & Safety

Cheers to 2017!  AFOP H&S Celebrates a Year Full of Successes

AFOP Health & Safety (12/27)

What a year!  2017 has been a very busy year for AFOP’s Health & Safety Programs helping empower the farmworker community.  As this year comes to an end we want to express our deep gratitude for these farmworkers, and of course for all farmworker advocates, service providers, trainers, and supporters. [Read More]

EPA May Weaken Key Provisions of Recently Updated Worker Protection Rules

Farmworker Justice (12/22)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it may try to rewrite key provisions of the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) and Certified Pesticide Applicator (CPA) rule, two important regulations aimed at ensuring that farmworkers receive adequate training and protection from pesticide exposure. This announcement is very concerning given that there was already a detailed rule-making process for both rules which involved multiple stakeholders, including Farmworker Justice, and led to important revisions which should already be in effect. Now the EPA has backtracked, bowing to pressure from agribusiness groups, and will soon be opening up the rules for potential changes to key provisions including a minimum age for pesticide handlers, the right of workers to access information about pesticides they are exposed to, and protection from exposures to workers and bystanders during applications. Apart from the confusion and delays in the implementation of the rules caused by recent EPA actions, this decision by EPA could also have significant effects on funding for the agency.  Sen. Tom Udall has placed a hold on the reauthorization of the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) as a response to the EPA’s unorthodox actions concerning these two rules, as well as the reversal of its decision to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos earlier this year. Senator Udall has also expressed concern regarding the EPA’s mischaracterization of the discussion of these provisions at a recent Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) meeting. Farmworker Justice is a member of the PPDC and is similarly concerned that the EPA’s summary of the meeting does not accurately reflect what was discussed, as well as the fact that the transcript of the meeting still has not been made public.

Teen Dies in Farm Accident

WOWT News (12/18)

Western Iowa authorities say a 17-year-old boy has died in a farm accident.  The Sac County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Monday that first responders were dispatched around 12:45 p.m. Saturday to the farm northwest of Wall Lake. They found Ethan Nissen in the cab of a farm machine that had rolled over. He was pronounced dead at the scene.  The office says Nissen was scooping manure when the accident occurred. [Read More]

Raising Babies to Be Mentally, Emotionally, and Behaviorally Healthy

Children’s Mental Health Network (12/22)

For hundreds thousand years, our ancestral and modern human babies learned everything about the world by being held, spoken to, and interacting with real, live humans for hours on end. In America, that is less and less so—with adverse developmental effects. In this Morning Zen post, Dennis Embry reminds us that tiny, everyday interactions have large, evolutionary consequences in child development for good or harm. [Read More]

When Picking Apples on a Farm With 5,000 Rules, Watch Out for the Ladders

NY Times (12/27)

For eight weeks every fall, Indian Ladder Farms, a fifth-generation family operation near Albany, kicks into peak season.

The farm sells homemade apple pies, fresh cider and warm doughnuts. Schoolchildren arrive by the busload to learn about growing apples. And as customers pick fruit from trees, workers fill bins with apples, destined for the farm’s shop and grocery stores.

This fall, amid the rush of commerce — the apple harvest season accounts for about half of Indian Ladder’s annual revenue — federal investigators showed up. They wanted to check the farm’s compliance with migrant labor rules and the Fair Labor Standards Act, which sets pay and other requirements for workers. [Read More]

Guest Column by Children’s HealthWatch:  Moving from Hardship to Health

Food Research and Action Center (12/22)

When money is tight, every family expense has to be balanced with its impact on other needs. If we pay for this light bill, will we have enough money for rent? If we pay for the rent, will we have enough money left over for medicine and food? This can be an overwhelming situation for families, leaving them wondering if things will ever get better. Recent research from Children’s HealthWatch shows that, yes, it can get better. In fact, improving a family’s ability to afford enough food for all family members releases the squeeze on other parts of the household budget. [Read More]

Inside the United States Department of Labor

USDOL Wishes NFJP Grantees a Happy New Year (1/11)

As we begin 2018, we want to take a moment to convey our heartfelt appreciation for your endless commitment to positively impact the lives of migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families.  As an NFJP grantee, a State Monitor Advocate, an Outreach Worker, or an AJC staff, you have played an instrumental role in making dreams and goals become a reality for farmworkers. Because of your thoughtful actions and words of encouragement, today thousands of farmworkers take their first step to enhance their agricultural skills or pursue a new career of their choice. Through your effective outreach efforts, farmworkers are aware of their rights afforded under worker protection laws and are connected to supportive services that are necessary for them to thrive. You are the eyes and ears on the ground and you put the mission into action. Thank you! [Read More]

Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers 101 Training Modules (11/21)

Ensuring effective implementation of programs and processes to support Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers and their employers is an important role of the public workforce system.  Take a look at these three brief but content-rich training modules designed to provide the most critical information to MSFW program practitioners in an easy-to-follow format offering key examples and scenarios to drive success. [Read More]

USDOL Publishes States’ H-2A Minimum Wage Rates

Employment and Training Reporter (1/8)

The Employment and Training Administration published 2018 adverse effect wage rates for foreign agricultural workers employed under the H-2A visa program in the Federal Register, on Dec. 21 and 22. These are minimum wages which must be offered to  foreign agricultural workers and domestic workers who apply for these jobs. Hourly wages range from lows of $10.46 in Arizona and New Mexico to highs of $14.12 in Oregon and Washington and $14.37 in Hawaii. A monthly wage, limited to herding and livestock workers, is $1,584.22. Where applicable, higher state or local minimum wages are required.

DOL Blog:  Great Outdoor Jobs … with Plants and Animals (12/21)

Animal breeders select and breed animals for their genetic characteristics. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers operate establishments that produce crops, livestock, and dairy products. Farmers and ranchers own and operate mainly family-owned farms. Agricultural managers take care of the day-to-day operation of farms, ranches, nurseries, timber tracts, greenhouses, and other agricultural establishments. Soil and plant scientists conduct research on soil composition and plant growth, often looking for ways to improve the efficiency and safety of plant growth and products. [Read More]

Workforce GPS Releases December 2017, January 2018 Newsletters

228,000 Jobs Added to U.S. Economy (1/5)

The American job market continues to demonstrate strength, with 228,000 jobs added in November and a total of 1.7 million since January. [Read More]

Workforce Training: DOL Can Better Share Information on Services for On-Demand, or Gig, Workers

Government Accountability Office (10/26)

Studies GAO reviewed suggest that workers who engage in on-demand, or “gig” work, differ in their characteristics and types of work performed, but each of these defined these workers differently. There is no universally accepted or official definition of gig workers; but, for its report, GAO has identified their characteristics as follows: self-employed individuals providing labor services and completing single projects or tasks on demand for pay. Gig work can be obtained or performed either offline or online. [Read More]

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Farmers Cooperative After Worker Entrapped in Grain Bin (11/8)

On May 4, 2017, OSHA responded to reports of a worker partially entrapped in a grain bin. Investigators found the worker had entered the bin to clear clumps of soybeans while the auger was running. As the clumped beans cleared, the grain shifted and knocked the worker off of his feet. The auger drew the cleared beans to the bottom of the bin and engulfed the worker up to his chest. OSHA cited the cooperative for two willful, one repeat, and four serious safety violations of the agency’s grain handling standards, and placed the company in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. [Read More]

Poverty in the United States

Low-Wage Workers:  Poverty and Use of Selected Federal Social Safety Net Programs Persist Among Working Families

Government Accountability Office (10/26)

According to GAO's analysis of data in the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS), on average, low-wage workers worked fewer hours per week, were more highly concentrated in a few industries and occupations, and had lower educational attainment than workers earning hourly wages above $16 in each year GAO reviewed—1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2016. Their percentage of the U.S. workforce also stayed relatively constant over time. About 40 percent of the U.S. workforce ages 25 to 64 earned hourly wages of $16 or less (in constant 2016 dollars) over the period 1995 through 2016. The combination of low wages and few hours worked compounded the income disadvantage of low-wage workers and likely contributed to their potential eligibility for federal social safety net programs. [Read More]

United Nations Expert on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Visits the United States

UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (11/10)

“The United States is among the richest countries in the world, yet deep forms of poverty and inequality continue to exist in the country,” said the independent expert designated by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to monitor, report and advise on extreme poverty and its intersection with human rights.

“While some may wonder why an expert on extreme poverty and human rights visits a country as rich as the United States, the reality is that many individuals in the country are income-poor, or live in multidimensional poverty,” according to Professor Alston. [Read More]

Rural Food-Stamp Usage Holds Steady While National Rate Declines

Daily Yonder (11/14)

According to Census data compiled into a "data snapshot" by the University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy, rural areas saw no significant SNAP usage decrease from 2015 to 2016, while other areas showed declining participation since the post-recession peak numbers in 2012. Since 2008, rural and city SNAP rates have run five points higher than suburban rates. Job numbers in rural counties have not returned to pre-recession totals, and the report found that households that have found employment continue to struggle financially, with the share of households on SNAP with at least one employed person increasing to 79.1 percent in 2016. [Read More]

Farmworkers in the News

Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images

Health Risks to Farmworkers Increase as Workforce Ages

NPR (12/1)

That bag of frozen cauliflower sitting inside your freezer likely sprang to life in a vast field north of Salinas, Calif. A crew of men and women here use a machine to drop seedlings into the black soil. Another group follows behind, stooped over, tapping each new plant.  It is backbreaking, repetitive work. Ten-hour days start in the cold, dark mornings and end in the searing afternoon heat. [Read More]

Inside the Lives of Farmworkers:  Top 5 Lessons I Learned on the Ground


Most of us — and by "us," I mean urban and suburban consumers like me — don't usually get to meet the people who pick our apples, oranges or strawberries.  So about a year ago, I decided to launch a series of stories about the people who harvest some of America's iconic seasonal foods. Many of these workers move from place to place, following the seasons.  I visited workers who were harvesting apples in Pennsylvania, sweet potatoes and blueberries in North Carolina, and oranges and strawberries in Florida. In each place, I also talked to farmers who own those crops and hire the workers. [Read More]
Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)

Farmworkers Demand Freedom from Sexual Violence

In These Times (11/21)

Ahead of the Thanksgiving feast, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) hit midtown Manhattan on Monday to face down the suits with chants of “Exploitation has got to go!” CIW was there to demand humane working conditions on their farms. Peppered with brass-band musicians and street puppets, the protesters rallied at the New York, N.Y. offices of the fast food giant Wendy’s. [Read More]

Disaster Recovery and Relief

Yuri Gripas / Reuters

EDITORIAL: Puerto Rico Increasingly Fragile as Recovery Founders

Columbia Missourian (12/26)

As of last week, only about 60 percent of Puerto Rico’s power had been restored. Power remains the key to ever regaining normalcy in business, education and home life. But the island is suffering the longest blackout in United States history.  An estimated 700 temporary generators are providing emergency power, with officials hoping for something more permanent no earlier than next summer. [Read More]

Wine Country Wildfires Affect Workers and Winemakers Alike

Food Tank (11/15)

Seasonal workers have struggled while the fires burned and in the aftermath, with road closures making access to the vineyards difficult. Some of these workers were turned away from previously scheduled work during the fires because of dangerous conditions and limited accessibility of vineyards, resulting in a week or more without income. [Read More]

Sonoma County Low-Income Families Fall Short on Food

Press-Democrat (12/25)

Although hunger decreased in California’s Sonoma County last year, the October wildfires will likely impact the ability of many families to afford food, according to county officials and nonprofit organizations. The fires destroyed five percent of the county’s housing stock (the county was already experiencing a housing crunch) and eliminated jobs. “As rents go up, more residents will end up having to choose between having a roof over their heads and paying for other necessities, like food,” said Kim Seamans, economic assistance director for the Human Services Department. [Read More]


Photograph by Jeenah Moon / Bloomberg via Getty

Will Congress Save Dreamers Before Trump’s DACA Deadline?

New Yorker (12/29)

Members of both parties have vowed to fix DACA, but a concrete plan still hasn’t materialized. While the delays continue, more than a hundred Dreamers are losing their status every day, meaning, among other things, that they can no longer work legally in the U.S. [Read More]

The Obstacles Unauthorized Students Face in Postsecondary Education

Center for American Progress (12/21)

Colleges and universities, and the education they provide, are critical avenues for social mobility and economic success in the United States. Each year, about 65,000 unauthorized students who have been in the United States for five years or more graduate from high school, yet only an estimated 7,000 to 13,000 enroll in college overall. These numbers speak to the significant obstacles that unauthorized college—and aspiring college—students face, particularly around college affordability and access. While some colleges and universities have started to recognize the needs of these students, plenty of changes still need to be made to support unauthorized students and help them reach their full potential. [Read More]

DHS Releases FY 2017 Immigration Enforcement Statistics

Farmworker Justice (12/22)

Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its FY 2017 statistics on immigration enforcement actions by both Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). CBP reported a total of 310,531 apprehensions nationwide, 303,916 of which were along the Southwest border. ICE reported 143,470 administrative arrests and 226,119 removals. Through the start of the Trump Administration on January 20, 2017 through the end of the fiscal year (on September 30, 2017) ICE made 110,568 arrests compared to 77,806 during the same period in FY2016 - an increase of approximately 40 percent. [Read More]

What We’re Reading

Minorities in Agriculture:  History, Influence, and Future

Food Tank (11/9)

The 7th Annual Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners Conference, hosted by Black Urban Growers (BUGs), was held from November 10 to 12, 2017, at Georgia State University. The theme was “Rooted and Rising: Black Southern Land Legacies of Resistance & Resilience.” This national conference brought together Black farmers, food justice advocates, educators, chefs, and community members to share best practices and build a stronger network in the movement for food justice and food sovereignty. The goals of the conference were to explore the history of and solutions from Black agriculture and how it influences today’s food movements. [Read More]

Grant Opportunity for the FY2018 Offender Reentry Program

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (12/18)

The SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) is accepting applications for the fiscal year 2018 Offender Reentry Program (ORP).The purpose of this program is to expand substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and related recovery and reentry services to sentenced adult offenders/ex-offenders with a SUD and/or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders, who are returning to their families and community from incarceration in state and local facilities including prisons, jails, or detention centers. Proposed budgets cannot exceed $425,000 in total costs per project year for up to 5 years. 16 project awards are anticipated.

Application Due Date: Friday, January 26, 2018

See complete information regarding grant here: [Read More]

Tax Bill Will Cause Harm to Millions of Americans

Food Research & Action Center

The tax bill passed by Congress this week is a great disservice to the American people. It creates a $1.5 trillion deficit that will be used to justify proposals to make deep cuts to programs essential to tens of millions of Americans, programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, school meals, Supplemental Security Income, and other safety net programs. [Read More]

Rural America’s Struggle

NJ Herald (12/13)

The Senate version of the tax bill would increase taxes on Americans earning less than $75,000 a year, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Employment and economic growth in rural America have not kept up with the post-recession gains of the rest of the nation, and childhood poverty in rural areas is considerably higher than in urban areas, notes writer, speaker and columnist Peter Funt in this op-ed. “Low-income people in rural America need greater federal assistance, not less,” Funt concludes.
[Read More]

3 Myths about the Poor That Republicans Are Using to Support Slashing US Safety Net

Chicago Tribune (12/13)

In defending tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts to the safety net, Republicans are using long-debunked myths about the poor, “which are false and only serve to reinforce misconceptions about working class and poor Americans,” writes Michele Gilman, a law professor at the University of Baltimore, in this op-ed. Gilman bases her statement on research and has represented low-income clients for 20 years. In more than half of SNAP households, one adult is working, and SNAP benefits (about $1.40 per meal) are “hardly enough to justify quitting a job.” Also, every SNAP dollar generates about $1.70 in economic activity. [Read More]

Most Americans Do Not Support Making Cuts to Programs for People with Low Incomes

Washington Post (12/27)

While Republicans are aiming their sights on cutting federal support for health care and anti-poverty programs in the coming year, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that only 12 percent of Americans favor the president and Congress decreasing Medicaid funding, and 47 percent want funding levels to remain the same. In addition, a Gallup poll found that fewer than 20 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. [Read More]

Why Are Apprenticeships a Good Idea That Have Never Really Taken Off in the U.S.?

Washington Post (12/22)

When President Trump signed an executive order earlier this year to substantially increase apprenticeships in the United States, he joined a line of recent presidents who have tried to reimagine job training as something that happens on the job instead of mostly in a classroom.  Despite this focus at the highest levels of government, apprenticeships have never caught on in the United States compared to many European countries. Today, American apprenticeships remain largely associated with the construction trades and labor unions, where they had their roots in a Depression-era labor shortage that led Congress to pass formalized standards and empowered the Labor Department to certify training. [Read More]

Michigan Attorney General: Ag Employees Exempt from Minimum Wage

AFOP Members in Other States Report Similar Circumstances

Gongwer (12/20)

Because certain agricultural employees are exempt from federal minimum wage laws, they are also not covered under Michigan's minimum wage laws, Attorney General Bill Schuette said in an opinion.
[Read More]

Click here to read the opinion as written by the Michigan Attorney General.

Linking the Timing of Career and Technical Education Coursetaking With High School Dropout and College-Going Behavior

Published in the American Educational Research Journal (10/31)

While prior studies have examined the efficacy of career and technical education (CTE) courses on high school students’ outcomes, there is little knowledge on timing of these courses and a potential link to student outcomes. We asked if the timing of these courses predicted differences in the likelihood of dropout and on-time high school graduation as well as college-going behaviors. We found that CTE coursetaking in high school was linked to lower chances of dropout and increased chances of on-time graduation, especially when these courses were taken later in high school. Little evidence arose that CTE coursetaking boosts college-going behaviors. The implications speak to the role of timing of CTE coursetaking, specifically on end of high school outcomes. [Read More]
The AFOP Washington Newsline (ISSN# 1056-8565) is produced by the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP), a national federation of agencies serving migrant and seasonal farmworkers. AFOP’s mission is to improve the quality of life for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families by providing advocacy for the member organizations that serve them.

The publication is funded by subscriptions and the members of AFOP. The Washington Newsline receives no financial support from the federal government. Staff may be reached by calling (202) 384-1754.
Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs

1120 20th Street, N.W. |  Suite 300 South
Washington, D.C. 20036

Phone: (202) 384-1754

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