Immigrant Farmers Encounter Stressors, Obstacles, Isolation – A New Spanish-Language Hotline Connects Them to Resources
Over the course of the pandemic, I was reminded, like many other people, of the importance of having good quality food. And I’m referring to the quality of the taste and the health benefits of consuming something that will nourish our bodies. I recognize that farmers and ranchers are the backbones of our country. In recent years, more and more farmers are, like me, immigrants. Their access to assistance of various forms is limited because of numerous barriers, including language. Two years ago, Migrant Clinicians Network joined forces with Farm Aid to bring language justice and improved health access to immigrant farmers, through a direct phone line where they could be connected with resources they need. The work, spearheaded by MCN’s Leslie Rodriguez during the beginning of the pandemic, included months of networking and outreach to find available resources. Now, the Spanish-language hotline that we jointly created is live and taking calls.
Farmers encounter significant occupation-related stressors, from the impact of climate-fueled disasters on their crops, to rapidly changing markets, to isolation, to decisions on farming methods. Spanish-speaking farmers need someone to listen and understand what they are going through. MCN and Farm Aid’s Spanish-language hotline connects these immigrant farmers with the specific resources they need. Farmers can call and request information on a very wide range of issues:
- Activism & Organization
- Conservation Programs
- Crisis Assistance
- Direct Marketing Assistance
- Distant Relief/ Resilience
- Farm Land Access/ Succession Planning
- Farmer Stress
- Financial and Business Planning
- Funding Opportunities for Farmers
- Industrial Ag & Factory Farm Issues
- Institutional and Wholesale Market
- Legal Help and Medication Services
- Organic/Sustainable/Regenerative Transition and Support
- Research/Technical Assistance and Education
- Resources for LGBTQIA Farmers
- Resources for Beginning Farmers
- Resources for BIPOC Farmers
- Resources for Farmers with Disabilities
- Resources for Farmworkers
- Resources for Tribal Farmers & Ranchers
- Resources for Veteran Farmers
- Resources for Women Farmers
All farmers can call the hotline at 1-800-FARM-AID (1-800-327-6243), Monday through Friday from 10:00 am-6:00 pm Pacific Time. My colleague, MCN’s Elizabeth Gonzales, will answer your call and try to assist you.
Now, we need to spread the word. Elizabeth and I attended the Latino Farmer Conference in Escondido, California, on November 17 and 18 to invite farmers and their families to use this new resource created for them.
We also want to ask our partner organizations and clinics that provide resources to Spanish-speaking farmers and farmworkers to include MCN and Farm Aid's hotline database in your outreach. If you have resources that would be helpful to Spanish-speaking farmers and farmworkers, please reach out to Caitlin Stephano at firstname.lastname@example.org. Through the Farm Aid hotline and email service, Farm Aid's Hotline staff refers farmers to an extensive network of the family farm and rural support organizations across the country. All farmers can call the hotline at 1-800-FARM-AID (1-800-327-6243).