Stand With Farm Workers. They Feed Us!
Written by Kaleb Graves, Duke Divinity Summer Intern with NFWM
During my visit to farm worker camps this summer, I heard a lot from the workers about separation. Of course, there was the separation of H2-A workers leaving their families and home communities for months out of the year, but it did not stop there. Farm workers described struggling to get a family member to be placed at the farm with them. Others told us that they were bounced from farm to farm every few weeks, unable to make friends or organize with their fellow workers.
Farm workers were also separated from resources to help them. Some did not know how to contact the union to gain benefits that were rightfully theirs, and one man suffered from pesticide exposure without the ability to visit a doctor. Much of this happens in hidden areas, out of sight from those who are not looking.
National Farm Worker Ministry and our farm worker partner organizations are building connections and relationships in the middle of this system that only tries to separate workers from each other and from the rest of our country. Together, we can overcome the rifts in our systems that exploit farm workers and leave us uninformed about how our food reaches our dinner table, drive-thru bag, or snack pack. Through education and organizing, we can overcome this Separation.
One way you can stand with farm workers is by supporting various farm worker campaigns. These include creating consumer pressure on companies, boycotting, calling on elected politicians, and/or supporting certification programs. Campaigns may be local, regional, national and even global.
There are TWO things common to every campaign NFWM supports.
#1 – Our farm workers partners are leading the campaign.
#2 – Farm Workers win campaigns with YOUR Support!
About the author:
Kaleb Graves was NFWM’s Summer 2022 intern. This Fall, he will be entering his third and final year in Duke’s Master of Divinity program. Kaleb will be starting a position at Binkley Baptist Church, and he hopes to apply what he has learned at NFWM to his church ministry in the future.
During his time at NFWM, Kaleb researched local and state ecumenical groups with interest in farm worker justice, updated our website, connected churches to NFWM, and presented research and led a reflection at our board meeting.