The Farmworkers Health and Safety Education Program is a program of Community and Rural Development in the NC State Extension. The Farmworker educator position is funded through a collaboration between the DHHS NC Farmworker Health Program and NC State Extension.
The purpose of this collaboration is to assist farmers, farm labor contractors, farmworkers, and their families with reducing the risks of COVID-19 transmission on the farm, increase farmworkers’ access to COVID information and services (including testing, vaccine inoculation, and medical care), and assist with response efforts in the case of an outbreak.
Additionally, the Farmworkers Health and Safety Program provides educational opportunities and resources to farmers, farm labor contractors, farmworkers, and their families on issues associated with health and work safety (pesticide safety, weather protection, and other occupational hazards) as well as overall farmworker family well-being. The components of the program are 1) Farmworker Training; 2) Farm Labor Contractors Training; 3) Community Educational Events Training; 4) Partnership and network development; 5) Extension Cross Programming; 6) COVID-19 Prevention and Response.
The Farmworkers Health and Safety Program team is composed of 5 regional educators, one program coordinator, and the program NC State Extension PI and Co-PI. The Extension Farmworkers Health and Safety Regional Educator is responsible for the implementation of the entire program (6 components) in the assigned region. Specifically, the regional educator will be expected to:
- Be knowledgeable of agricultural crops, related seasonal activities, farm community in the selected counties, as well as the work and living patterns of H2A, migrant and seasonal farmworkers.
- Implement the entire program (6 components) in the assigned region.
- Assist farmers and farmworkers with resources available for COVID-19 prevention and response:
- PPE and cleaning supplies.
- Internet Connectivity Project.
- Connect/refer to farmworkers health program for patient education and health care access.
- Connect/refer to community health workers and social supports as available in the county.
- Connect/refer to isolation and quarantine housing resources.
- Assist local vaccination efforts.
- Assist with developing and updating training materials as needed.
- Partner with local farmworkers’ vaccine teams to prevent and respond to COVID19 on the farm and promote health and safety at work.
- Participate in efforts to organize events with personal protection supplies, education, testing, and vaccines.
- Be part of regional partners coalitions to sustain efforts to prevent and respond to COVID-19.
- Lead the organization of a County Farmworker Health fair in the assigned region.
- Provide health and safety training on pesticide safety, weather protection (i.e. heat stress), green tobacco illness, and other occupational hazards to farmers, farm labor contractors, farmworkers, and their families. The educator will be trained on the program training curriculum’s and materials.
- Meet the assigned region qualitative and quantitative goals of the program.
- Develop and implement an outreach plan to identify and engage with farmers, farm labor contractors, and farmworkers, and their families in need of occupational-related health and safety training.
- Develop a trusting relationship with farmers, crew leaders, farm labor contractors, and farmworkers and their families in the assigned counties.
- Work collaboratively with the Directors and/or agriculture agents of the County Extension Center included in the assigned region to implement the program.
- Work collaboratively with the County Extension Center included in the assigned region to connect farmers, farm labor contractors, and farmworkers and their families with other Extension resources such as youth development, nutrition, and food safety programs as well as with other community resources.
- Market the program at local, regional, and state events.
- Maintain a list of state and county resources for farmworkers and their families such as service organizations and programs like Migrant Education and healthcare agencies.
- Maintain a list of the region’s growers, farm labor contractors, and partners.
- Develop and strengthen partnerships with the aforementioned resources to potentially refer farmworkers and their families as needed.
- Collect program data related to the implementation of the program components, i.e. number of farmworkers trained, number of farmers involved, number of training provided, farmworker post-training survey data, and so on, and submit monthly data and activities reports.
- Participate in County and State Cooperative Extension staff development and other team development meetings as needed.
- Other duties necessary for the fulfillment of the project agreed by County Cooperative Extension directors, the program coordinator, and PI and Co-PI at NCSU.
- The incumbent will be required to travel throughout the county service area/state and work evenings and weekends when necessary.