The EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs announced a $2.5 million award to the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) over the next 5 years to “develop national pesticide safety training, education and outreach for farmworkers and their families in rural agricultural areas” in more than 25 states.
The award will be allocated in the amount of $500,000 annually.
“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 farm workers 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.”
The program’s outreach targets low-income, non-English-speaking, and low-literacy farmworkers. “Our programs focus on using adequate multilingual interactive training techniques to increase farmworkers engagement to the topic in order to ensure knowledge transfer, as well as, behavior change,” according to the AFOP.
The training program, the National Farmworker Training Program (NFTP), is a 10-month program (January–October) sponsored by the AFOP. Training topics include:
- Pesticide Safety—Worker Protection Standard (WPS)
- Pesticide Safety—Take Home Exposure Prevention (LEAF)
- Pesticide Exposure & Pregnancy
- Children and Pesticide Exposure
- Heat Stress Prevention
- Tractor Safety
In its previous 2015–2020 cooperative agreement with the EPA, the program trained 184,000 farmworkers and 30,000 children on pesticide safety.
In 2019, the program was implemented in 28 states by 220 trainers. Those states included Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New England, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Participating organizations providing training in 2019 were Eastern Maine Development Corp.; Help NM, Inc.; Illinois Migrant Council; MET, Inc.; Opportunities Industrialization Ctr.; ORO Development Corp.; PathStone Corp.; Proteus, Inc.; Rural Employment Opportunities; and Telamon Corp.
Visit the EPA’s Pesticide Safety Worker Cooperative Agreements website for more information.