The NC Farmworkers’ Project serves as the resource center, home base, and connection to care for more than 3,000 farmworkers in five counties around Benson, North Carolina. Each agricultural season, we visit farmworkers in their homes to assess their needs, engage in health education, share information and resources, and build community.
North Carolina is home to more than 100,000 farmworkers, who work in tobacco, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, Christmas trees, blueberries, and many other fruit and vegetable crops. Nationally, farmworkers’ average annual income is $11,000; for a family it is approximately $16,000. Most farmworkers are exempt from minimum wage laws, and all are exempt from overtime provisions, despite long work days during peak harvest. Farm labor ranks as one of the top 3 most dangerous occupations in the United States. In addition to hazards in the fields, farmworkers and their families face unique burdens on their physical and mental health. North Carolina’s leading industry is agriculture, yet farmworkers are among the most underserved residents in the state. The NC Farmworkers’ Project seeks to work with farmworkers to address these disparities and build towards a better future for farmworkers and their families.