Farmworker Awareness Week: Raising Awareness About Heat Stress

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June has finally arrived and like every year the temperatures begins to rise. During this time of the year, farmworkers are more likely to suffer from heat stress due to the high temperatures. Heat stress occurs when the body is unable to regulate its internal temperature, leading to a rise in body temperature. It is a common problem for farmworkers who work in hot and humid conditions. Heat stress can lead to a range of health problems, including heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, skin cancer and heat stroke. Due to this circumstance is why National Farmworker Awareness week was created.

National Farmworker Awareness Week is an opportunity to raise awareness about some of the challenges farmworkers face daily such as heat stress. During this time agencies celebrate them by collecting items for farmworkers which are then distributed. This year Olivia Antonio, with the Farmworker Health and Safety Program at the Sampson Cooperative Extension office, conducted a bandana and cooling towel drive. With the help of Sampson County Farm Bureau, Big Blue, Sampson Middle/ Clinton High School, Juntos Club and our Extension family we were able to collect more than 300 items. Items collected included cooling towels, bandanas, face masks, gloves, hand sanitizers and long sleeve shirts.

With the help of Olivia these items have been distributed along the east coast during her trainings. Olivia Antonio is in charge of conducting trainings with farmworkers on pesticide exposure, heat stress, green tobacco illness, COVID and much more. If you would like to learn about the program, feel free to contact her at the Sampson Extension office for more information.

Farmworker Awareness Week

Olivia shown in the middle along with Jennifer Daniels (left) and Todd Daniels (right) with some farmworkers from H&D Farms showing their bandanas.

Farmworker Awareness Week

Olivia with a group of farmworkers from Fann Farms showing their cooling towels.

Olivia Antonio

Olivia training a group of farmworkers from WF Partnership Farm on COVID.