July 5, 2019
Farm work is absolutely vital to our nation. Without fresh produce, grain, and meat sources, our food supply industry would crumble and national nutrition would plummet. Farm work varies between farm and often between seasons. The work can include transporting, milking, and feeding animals, ploughing fields, sowing seeds, spreading fertiliser, crop spraying, operating farm machinery, and harvesting. The work is incredibly demanding and sadly, is largely undervalued. Below is a summary of the most common issues farm workers face, the greatest of which is low pay.
Based on a recent study from the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS), the average annual income for a farm worker is between $15,000 $17,500.. For a family, the average income climbs to somewhere between $20,000 and $24,999. The federal poverty line for a family of three is $19.790, which means that most farm workers are living at or below the poverty line.
In addition to struggling with income and cash flow, many farm workers face health and safety issues at work. Many workers are exposed to dangerous pesticides, work without a reliable source of clean drinking water, and are at risk of heat exhaustion and lack of shade. Long hours and dangerous conditions are also common occurrences.
Farm workers are vital, yet mistreated. The issues are common and the solutions are slow to implement. If you or a loved one are farmworkers that have been mistreated on the job, call us to discuss the details of your potential case.