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iEat Green Shares Interview with Mary Jo Dudley, Director of the Cornell Farmworkers Program

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Hi Everybody,

Yesterday, I had a great conversation with Mary Jo Dudley about the important work she does, advocating for farmworkers through her program at Cornell. Mary Jo focuses on addressing the many problems facing farmworkers today, the most obvious being deportation fears and immigration issues. Over 4 million children born in the USA have 1 or more parent that is an illegal immigrant. Mary Jo’s organization educates the farmworker about how to fill out a form to assign another adult the legal responsibility of caring for their child, in the event of deportation. They also offer pro-bono legal counsel from many of their volunteer lawyers who work with them. Farmworkers are exempt from the National Labor Laws, so issues of overtime, and a day of rest, does not apply to them. Farm work can be dangerous, and the likelihood of a farm accident goes up greatly when people are over tired and have not had a day off. Often housing comes along with the job, so the worker is afraid to complain about poor living conditions, for fear of losing their job. Therefore, it is very easy for farmworkers to be exploited, because they have so much at risk. The Cornell Farmworker Program is providing a very important service, and I was so happy to learn more about what they do. If you missed the program you can listen to it here.

About Bhavani Jaroff

Bhavani Jaroff is a Natural Foods Chef, Educator, Radio Host, and Food Activist. She has over thirty years experience cooking healthy, fresh organic food. Read More

2 Responses to iEat Green Shares Interview with Mary Jo Dudley, Director of the Cornell Farmworkers Program

  1. Jennifer Greene

    Bhavani, thank you on two counts:

    1. Thank you for recommending “Disturbing the Peace”—I missed it when it came to the Cinema Arts Centre, and I appreciate your review. I will watch it on my own, and will no doubt be encouraging others to do the same.

    2. Thank you for making farmworkers the topic of this show. Roxi Sharif was kind enough to share this link with me & other UUs from my congregation in Sayville because a group of us recently attended a training by Rural & Migrant Ministry in Riverhead, and your interview with Mary Jo Dudley was relevant indeed. I’m glad that you put the Cornell Farmworker Program on my radar.

    • Bhavani Jaroff

      thank you Jennifer for commenting to my post! Roxi and I really appreciate your review and feedback. Thanks for all that you do too!

      I look forward to sharing more information during these dark times…


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