Nearly two million farm workers work in our orchards and fields, plant nurseries, dairies and feedlots. 85% of our fruits and vegetables are hand harvested; without farm workers our multi-billion dollar agricultural industry would not survive. Yet they labor long hours for low wages and suffer from heat stress and pesticide exposure in the fields. Isolated and excluded from some of the laws protecting other workers, farm workers rely on concerned consumers to help achieve a measure of justice in the fields. NFWM represents consumers, advocates and people of faith and conscience who want to support the Farm Worker Movement.
NFWM began in 1920 as a ministry of charity and service, providing food, clothing and day care to farm workers. When United Farm Workers co-founder Cesar Chavez began organizing in the 1960’s, he called on the religious community to change its emphasis from charity to justice. NFWM became the vehicle for people of faith to respond to that call.
We continue that mission by educating and mobilizing our member and supporting organizations, other faith communities, groups, and individuals to support farm worker led campaigns that aim to improve farm workers’ working and living conditions.
In the mid-2000s, NFWM decided that it was time to focus on supporting a new generation of those in solidarity with farm workers. The Youth and Young Adult Network of the National Farm Worker Ministry (YAYA) was born. YAYA members mobilize their communities in support of farm workers, build relationships with the local farm worker groups, advocate for better laws, organize events, and more!