Supporting Agricultural Workers from Mexico: Balancing Work and Family Demands
This is a video and discusson-based program from an immigrant's perspective. It has been developed for agriculture-sector employers who hire workers from Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries.
These materials may also be of interest to:
- Spanish-speaking individuals who work in agriculture.
- Non-profit organization professionals in rural communities.
- Individuals who are interested in learning more about the lives of agricultural workers from Mexico.
About this Program
This program is based on data from a University of Minnesota research study that was funded by the National Institute for Food and Agriculture International Science and Education Program. Mexican agricultural workers in Southern Minnesota and one of their family members in Mexico were interviewed to better understand their work and family situations. Results of the study were used to guide the video and the accompanying educational materials.
The people in the video are not the people who were interviewed for the research study. They were asked to get involved in the video project because they personally had similar experiences to those in the research study.
While the research focused specifically on workers from Mexico, we believe the ideas can be applied to other Latino/a agriculture workers’ situations.
By completing this program employers will:
- Understand the significant role Latino/a agriculture workers play in the United States economy.
- Be aware of the Latino/a worker population’s contribution to the U.S. economy.
- Understand the complex lives of workers from Mexico.
- Identify their employees’ needs and situations, including:
- The complex nature of family care across countries.
- Communication and language challenges.
- Culture challenges.
- Financial needs (advance payments, short-term loans, etc.).
- Reasons employees are in the United States, e.g., a strong need for money to care for parents in their home country, and/or a lack of work opportunities in their home country.
- Understand their role in facilitating a positive work environment and improved relationships and communication among employers and employees.
- Develop a plan for creating a safe, healthy work environment — both physically and emotionally.
- Be aware of agencies (national, regional, state, county, and city) to aid their latino/a workers.
For more information on the research project, contact Cathy Solheim.
Find out more about this program. (210 K PDF)
Build awareness of the role of Latino/a agricultural workers in the U.S. economy.
Learn how to foster a positive wok environment through improved relationships and communication.
Get activity handouts and evaluation for this program.
Learn why this is an important issue. (268 K PDF)
Understand the complexity of workers' lives and their everyday challenges.
Develop a plan for creating a safe, healthy work environment. Learn more about other resources that can help.
Antonio Alba Meraz — Extension Educator, Family Resource Management
Patricia D. Olson, Ph.D. — Program Leader, Family Relations and Family Resource Management
Gabriela Burk — Community Program Specialist, Family Resource Management
Catherine A. Solheim, Ph.D. — Department of Family Social Science; Principal Investigator for the related research project
Revised November 2011
For a complete listing of state and national resources see other recommended resources.
You may also be interested in resources for farm families and additional resources for Latino families and their employers.
For questions on this program, contact Antonio Alba Meraz (firstname.lastname@example.org; 507-389-6764.)