Migrant Labor in NY

August 25, 2009

Agriculture is big business in New York state, generating billions of dollars in revenue through different crop and dairy farms. But one fact that the average consumer may not be aware of is how much the agriculture industry relies on migrant workers to help harvest and process those crops. According to a factsheet from the BOCES Geneseo Migrant Center, approximately 47,000 migrant workers and their families come to New York state every year.

What role do migrant workers play in the agricultural industry in New York? What issues do they, and the farmers who hire them, face? 

Guests: 
Mary Jo Dudley, Director of Cornell Farmworkers Program
Beverly Sirvent, Migrant Health Services Director for the Finger Lakes Migrant Health Care Project
Chris Pawleski, onion farmer in Orange County, NY