In part 3, Larry Kleinman, of the Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United explains the distinction between migrant farm workers and seasonal workers, and how their respective populations have changed dramatically in Oregon over the years.
From the National Center for Farmworker Health, a few of the facts they compiled about farm workers in the United States:
- In 2007, for every 100,000 agricultural workers in the U.S. there were 25.7 occupational deaths in agriculture. This compares to an average rate of 3.7 deaths for every 100,000 workers in all other industries during this same year. (2009 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.)
- There are an over 3 million estimated migrant and seasonal farm workers (Office of Minority Health, 1993.)
- According to the most recent findings of the NAWS, nearly three-quarters of U.S. farmworkers earn less than $10,000 per year and three out of five farmworker families have incomes below the poverty level (Department of Labor, 2000.)
- A 2002 study examined take-home organophosphorus pesticide exposure among agricultural workers and found pesticides in dust samples from 85% of farmworkers‟ homes and 87% of farmworkers had pesticides in dust samples in their vehicles. In addition, 88% of farmworker children had organophosphate metabolites in their urine. (Greater risks, fewer rights: U.S. farmworkers and pesticides. Int J Occupation Environmental Health 2003) [editor’s note: organophosphates are a systemic poison that targets the central nervous system, and belong to the same group of chemicals used as nerve agents.]