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Kari Birdseye's blog

Introducing the short film Pesticide Lake

It has been Farmworker Awareness week all year for me.  In my work to build awareness for stronger pesticide exposure protections for agricultural workers, I’ve had the honor of meeting some of the most courageous people, who have risked their jobs and livelihoods, as well as those of their families, by going public and sharing their stories to improve workplace conditions for those working on the front lines of growing and harvesting our food, nursery and other agricultural goods. 

Elvia Vasquez

This is the sixth blog post in a series of personal stories from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000–20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

Pedro Reyes teaches English to farmworkers to help improve farmworker protection standards.

This is the sixth blog in a weekly series of personal stories from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000–20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

Olga Santos returned for the first time to the strawberry field where she was sprayed with toxic pesticides while eating lunch with her family as a young girl.

This is the fifth blog post in a weekly series of personal stories from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000–20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

Maria Aguilera, a farmworker for 24 years, has learned to protect herself from toxic chemicals applied to the fields.

This is the fourth blog post in a weekly series of personal stories from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000–20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

Graciela Silva worked for nine years in the fields harvesting lemons, lettuce, cucumbers, and strawberries. She sits in front of a monument, that includes her name, honoring local farmworkers in Santa Paula, CA.

This is the third blog post in a weekly series of personal stories from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000–20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

Farmworker Victorino

Victorino’s story is part two in a weekly series of personal narratives from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000 to 20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

Andrea Hubbard is a former farmworker who now helps women protect themselves from pesticide exposure and domestic abuse.

This is a first in a weekly series of personal stories from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000–20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

A child walks through a field.

Farmworkers share stories from the frontlines, in this fourth and final installment of a weekly series:

Part 4: Calling on the EPA to get it right

"I was raised on a farm beginning in the post war years. While our crop used relatively small amounts of herbicides and pesticides, we used enough to become familiar with their hazards.

A cropduster sprays agricultural fields.

Farmworkers share stories from the frontlines, in this third installment of a weekly series:

Part 3: Living near toxic fields

"As a child, my family worked in the fields bordering the Denver area. Spraying with pesticides was done while we were working or the evening prior. On weekends, our father joined us and the earnings were used to stock up for the winter. Many of our neighbors, relatives and friends also worked in the fields until school started in the fall.

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