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The Migrant/Seasonal Farmworker
Definitions and Overview
A migrant farmworker is defined as an individual who is required to be absent from a permanent place of residence for the purpose of seeking employment in agricultural work. Migrant farmworkers are also called migratory agricultural workers. Seasonal farmworkers are individuals who are employed in temporary farmwork but do not move from their permanent residence to seek farmwork; they may also have other sources of employment.
There are between 1 and 2.5 million hired farmworkers in the US.1 About a half million of those are under the age of 18. Seventy-eight percent are male, and 22 percent are female. On average, hired farmworkers are young and predominantly Latino, have limited formal education, are foreign-born, and speak limited to no English. About half have authorization to work in the United States.1
Farmworkers Feed Us All: The Labor and Health of Migrants in Maine
The following slideshows illuminate the daily lives of migrant farmworkers associated with the Maine Migrant Health Program, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides primary care to farmworkers in Maine through mobile medical units and outreach. The slideshows, entitled “Farmworkers Feed us All,” feature photos by Earl Dotter and audio recordings by Tennessee Watson. Please visit the Maine Migrant Health Program for more information on their programs.
A Photography Exhibit by Earl Dotter and Tennessee Watson
They are the backbone of the agricultural economy. Without them we wouldn’t have the nourishing food that keeps us healthy and productive.