Qualitative Study, 2019

Farmworker Health and Labor: Building a Foundation for Community-Based Participatory Research in Michigan (2019)

As the first phase of the MFP, we conducted a community-engaged qualitative study that aimed to provide a deeper understanding of the complex working and living conditions of farmworkers in the state of Michigan. The goal of the project was to assess precarious employment, labor exploitation, knowledge and perceptions of labor exploitation and trafficking with farmworkers and with a diverse group of stakeholders from the areas of health, education, social and legal services, including community leaders. We conducted 56 in-depth interviews (35 with female and male farmworkers and 21 with stakeholders) from across the state of Michigan.

An emphasis on the structures and practices that enable or drive precarity and exploitation are crucial to develop interventions and targeted policies for farmworkers and other workers at risk of labor exploitation, with the goal of improving farmworker health and well-being in Michigan.

Funding Sources

Support for this project was provided by grants P30ES017885 and R01ES029950 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and by the Grant or Cooperative Agreement Number, T42OH008455, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Iglesias-Rios was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship (T32 ES007062) from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIH/NIEHS) & a postdoctoral diversity supplement from the NIH-funded grant (R01ES026603). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH, the CDC, or the Department of Health and Human Services.

This project was also supported by the University of Michigan’s Ginsberg Center and National Center for Institutional Diversity.