By Gabriela Hernandez
On Friday December 8th, YAYA-NFWM was invited to give a presentation on current farmworker issues and plans of action as a guest at the Leadership Florida Conference in Howie-in-the-Hills in Lake County, Florida. Influential leaders from across the state attended and were able to hear testimony from Director of the Farmworker Association of Florida, Tirso Moreno, regarding his own experiences as a shop steward for United Farm Workers (UFW) and current realities of farm workers in Florida. One of these realities is the growing number of H-2A visa holders being brought to Florida, displacing local workers, as well as housing damage and job loss from Hurricane Irma. YAYA-NFWM presented an interactive workshop on farmworker issues and asked the audience questions about current farmworker wages, legislation, and hardships as a means of understanding what the attendees knew about these injustices and how much they had to learn. Attendees learned about legislation regarding the Monsanto merger, H2 guestworker expansion, and the harmful pesticide chlorpyrifos and petition sign-up sheets were passed around.
At the conclusion of the presentation,
many of the leaders in attendance asked poignant questions regarding the issues spoken about and were interested in new ways to take action. It was wonderful to present to such an engaged and supportive group. On the way back to the office, we were able to visit and purchase from the local Monterey Mushroom Farm and also got to meet the staff of the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) of Zellwood.