A Zócalo/The California Wellness Foundation Event
Farm work is vital to our society—and dangerous for the people who do it. Farmworkers are exposed to a variety of health hazards: noise, heat, harmful chemicals, and musculoskeletal injuries, to name a few. Farmworkers’ struggles with long hours, low wages, polluted air, overcrowded housing, and frequent relocations often add to their challenges, especially in mental health. What do Californians owe to the laborers who put fruits, vegetables, nuts, and milk on our tables? How are changes in technology and immigration enforcement reshaping the nature of farm work and its health concerns? What progress has been made in protecting the health of farmworkers, and what important steps are regulators or the agricultural industry refusing to take? Organic farmer and artist Nikiko Masumoto, Huron Mayor Rey León, health researcher Chia Thao, and Tania Pacheco-Werner, co-assistant director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute, visit Zócalo to consider how to make farm work healthier.