News Releases from Region 07

11/18/2020

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., Nov. 18, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 is excited to work with the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP), which will receive up to $500,000 annually to conduct pesticide safety training across the country over the next five years.

With EPA funding, AFOP will administer this grant to provide occupational health and safety trainings to migrant and seasonal farmworkers in more than 25 states including Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

“EPA is pleased to continue working with the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs as we work toward our common goal of protecting our farmworkers and their families,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Alexandra Dapolito Dunn. “This exciting partnership complements our Agricultural Worker Protection Standard perfectly and will develop national pesticide safety training, education and outreach for farmworkers and their families in rural agricultural areas.”

“AFOP is delighted to continue working with EPA to provide pesticide safety instruction to the nation’s farmworkers. Together with EPA, we touch real lives by empowering agricultural workers with the knowledge they need to better protect themselves, their homes, and their families from pesticide exposure,” said AFOP Executive Director Daniel Sheehan. “Agriculture is ranked consistently as one of the most, if not the most, dangerous of occupations. Through EPA’s support, AFOP is able to help make that job a whole lot safer.”

“Agriculture is the largest industry in our four-state region with over 290,000 producers,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford. “So educating agricultural workers about proper pesticide handling is essential to protect public health and particularly children’s health.”

As the recipient of the cooperative agreement, AFOP will continue to enhance safe working conditions for agricultural workers at local, state and national levels, with targeted outreach to low-income, low-literacy, and non-English speaking farmworkers.

AFOP partners with local pesticide training providers to address the needs of farmworkers and facilitate access to pesticide safety education. In the new cooperative agreement, AFOP expects to expand their reach and partner with the following participating organizations in the region:

State Organization
Iowa Proteus Inc.
Kansas SER Corporation
Missouri UMOS Inc.
Nebraska Proteus Inc.

Through its previous 2015-2020 cooperative agreement with EPA, AFOP trained 184,000 farmworkers and 30,000 children on pesticide safety. This work was made possible through EPA’s National Farmworker Training grant program, which focuses on training educators to teach agricultural workers and their families how to reduce the risks from pesticide exposure.

For more information, visit EPA’s Pesticide Worker Safety Cooperative Agreements page.

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