Farmworker Well being Research by UC Merced reveals adversities individuals in agriculture face


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Saturday, February 25, 2023 4:41AM

Farmworker Health Study by UC Merced shows adversities people in agriculture face

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) — Carolina Castrellon is a single mother of two children.

She’s a farmworker. But she’s also without health insurance.

“We are a minority. I don’t want to say we aren’t important but we are less privileged than the rest,” says Carolina.

Carolina isn’t alone.

49% of farmworkers in the Central Valley are without health insurance.

That’s according to UC Merced’s Community and Labor “Farmworker Health in California” study.

Carolina says with the stress that work brings- she wishes access to therapy was more available.

“Sometimes we do need it. But we don’t have the resources, we don’t have the information on where to go,” Carolina mentions.

The study also found that more than a third of farmworkers were living with a chronic condition like diabetes, hypertension and anxiety.

More than half had not visited a doctor’s clinic in the past year.

“There are a lot of us who don’t have access so i think it’s good that they start taking us into consideration,” explains Carolina.

Edward Flores with UC Merced says he hopes this study helps contribute to the overall well-being of farmworkers.

“At this time we are working closely with community based organizations, having conversations with state officials, and just learning how this data could be of use and presenting it to public forums,” says Dr. Flores.

UC Merced says they hope the research and findings of the study will help improve the quality of work environments in agriculture, like expanding access to health care, economic and safety net and protecting workers rights.

The Farmworker Health Study Data Dashboard can be found here. For study highlights and data click here.

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