Tag Archives: farmworker

2015 in review

The 2015 Kansas Monitor Advocate Annual Report for this blog has ben released.  It was compiled by the WordPress.com stats helper monkey.  It’s interesting to read that readers came from 10 countries around the world. Click here to see the complete report.



KSFHP Plans 2016 Activities

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Statewide Farmworker Health Program (KSFHP) held its yearly day-long strategic planning session on Tuesday, November 17, at the K-State Extension office in Wichita, KS.   Meeting time was used to review 2015’s progress towards meeting yearly goals and plan 2016 activities.  The meeting was attended by both staff and advisory council members.

Outgoing Advisory Council Chair Doris Tompkins was presented with a certificate of appreciation for her years of service to the program.  Doris will retire at the end of the year.

Kendra and Doris
Kendra and Doris

After an ice breaker, the business agenda topics included:

  • KSFHP Staff and Board Chair Transition
  • National Center for Farmworker Health Conference Review
  • Advisory Council Bylaws Discussion
  • KSFHP Quality Assurance / Quality Improvements updates on:
    • Performance Improvement Plan
    • Focus Group Report
    • Provider Satisfaction survey
    • Chart Audits Report
    • Peer Review Report
    • Utilization Review Report
    • 2014 Health Survey Report
  • 2015 Strategic Work Plan Review
  • 2016 Strategic Work Plan Discussion
  • Closing and Next Steps

A draft of the 2016 Work Plan will be presented to the Advisory Council prior to their December 14, 2015, tele-conference.

Pictured below is the KSFHP administrative and program staff:

L to R: Diana, Pat, Teri, Heather, Rico, Kendra, Mario, Mary Helen, Tina, Jessica, Diana
L to R: Diana, Pat, Teri, Heather, Rico, Kendra, Mario, Mary, Helen, Tina, Jessica, Diana

This is a picture of the Advisory Council members in attendance:

L to R: Margaritha, Lotti, Rachel, Harold, Vada, Marci, Doris, Jenny, and Chelsea.
L to R: Margareth, Lotti, Rachel, Harold, Vada, Marcy, Doris, Jenny, and Chelsea.

Heather’s ice breaker turned out to be a puzzle which showed how each individual piece (representing a person) makes the program complete:

Ice Breaker Puzzle

Work session photos:

Staff & Board 2


Mario, Diana, and HaroldMary, Rico, and Heather

More information about the KSFHP can be found on this site.

~Jenny Tavares, Kansas Monitor Advocate



Farmworker Services map added…

A Map of Kansas farmworker services was created and can now be found on its own subpage to this website’s Traveling in Kansas tab.

The map includes pins to show where farmworker services providers are located throughout the state.  The following services are included:

  • State Monitor Advocate
  • Kansas Workforce Centers
  • Social Service Agencies
  • Harvest America Corp.
  • Farmworker Health Program
  • Education Assistance (HEP & CAMP)

The map’s page gives instructions on how to turn the map’s layers on and off.  Your feedback on future additions will be greatly appreciated.

Link:  Kansas Map of Services page

Thank you.


MSFW Contacts In Other States

USDOL logoA new page has been added to this website under the Contact Me tab.  The new page gives contact information for USDOL Region V State Monitor Advocates (SMA).  These states include:  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  The page also gives a link for the most current version of the National SMA directory.

Please Contact Me if you need to find someone to help you in another state or need more information.



Ag. Worker Protection Page Added

A page about the Worker Protection Standards (WPS) and pesticide exposure information has been added to this website.  It includes links to the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s online complaint forms and numbers to call in case of pesticide exposure.  The page also includes an English and Spanish flyer on what to do if anyone is exposed to pesticides.

Thank you,


Farmworker Health Program Ready for 2015

The Kansas Statewide Farmworker Health Program (KSFHP) recently held a strategic planning session to guide program activities during 2015.  The staff and advisory council members from across the State of Kansas met in Wichita on Monday, December 2, 2014, for the meeting.

Please see this website’s KSFHP page for an updated list of services to be offered in 2015.

The pictures below identifies staff members.  The second picture is of staff and advisory council members.

KSFHP Staff 12 1 14











First Row (L-R) Sarah Beery, administrative assistant; Ivette Herrera, Central Kansas Spanish language health promoter; Mary Marquez, Western Kansas Spanish Language Regional Case Manager; Kimberly Cisneros, Central/Eastern Kansas Spanish language health promoter; Tina Guenther, Western Kansas Low German language case manager; and Pat Fernandez, Central Kansas Spanish language case manager.

Second Row (L-R) Kendra Baldridge, Eastern Kansas Spanish language case manager; Diana Lady, Central/Eastern Kansas Spanish language health promoter; Teri Caudle, Public Health Nurse Specialist; Helen Loewen, Western Kansas Low German health promoter; and Cyndi Treaster, program director.

KSFHP Staff and Advisory Council  12 1 14









KSFHP staff and advisory council.




Additional health services available to farmworkers…

The Kansas Statewide Farmworker Health Program was recently awarded funds to expand services and is now assisting farmworkers receive mental health, substance abuse, and vision services.  The program is recruiting additional service providers so farmworkers do not have to drive long distances to receive services.  Pease contact the case manager in your area for additional information.

Kansas Statewide Farmworker Health Program (KSFHP)
Eastern Regional Case Manager English/Spanish Kendra Baldridge kbaldridge@kdheks.gov 785-296-2671
Central Regional Case Manager English/Spanish Pat Fernandez pfernandez@kdheks.gov 785-296-8983
Western Regional Case Manager English/Low German Tina Guenther tguenther@kdheks.gov 620-675-8191
Western Regional Case Manager English/Spanish Mary Marquez mmarquez@kdheks.gov 620-227-7882



Kansas Farmworker Heath Program Recognized as Innovative!

The Kansas Statewide Farmworker Health Program (KSFHP) was recognized for its innovative practices in the Health Outreach Partners’ 10 Years of Innovative Outreach Practices: A Collection of Outreach Strategies from the Field. 

KSFHP was recognized for assessment of farmworker need and outreach practices in Kansas.  These efforts include the formal needs assessment in 2009 using a telephone survey and 50 select questions from the CDC Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System.  A total of 584 (of 2,382 registered farmworkers) were surveyed including 269 Low German speaking and 284 Spanish speaking clients.  To supplement the survey results regarding need and health status at least seven annual focus groups are held each year throughout the state.  KSFHP hires bilingual regional case managers and health promoters to provide screening of health needs, health education, and support services.

For more information about the Kansas Statewide Farmworker Health Program go to www.ksfhp.org.    www.ksfhp.orgLike the program on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ksfhp.

Ella Ochoa, Farmworker to Advocate

In honor of National Farmworker Awareness Week 2012, a good friend and always farmworker advocate deserves recognition.  Farmworker advocates across the country need no introduction to Ella Ochoa of North Platte, Nebraska, but for everyone else just know she is a true hero and inspiration!

Ella grew up as a migrant farmworker picking crops in many states.  As an adult she focused on helping farmworkers through association with the Iowa Migrant Action Program, Nebraska Department of Labor Migrant Program, Illinois Migrant Council, North Dakota Migrant Program, the Texas Migrant Council, the National Council de la Raza, and the NAF Multicultural Human Development Corporation of Nebraska, from which she retired.

Over the years Ella has received several prestigious awards and honors.  Ella received the Mexican Othli Award in 1997.  The Ohtli Award is the Mexican government’s highest honor for a civilian living outside of Mexico who has devoted part of his/her life and professional activities to “forging a new path” abroad for their countrymen and women.  She has also been named the Nebraska Commission on the Status of Women “Woman of the Year” as well recipient of the MAFO – A National Partnership of Farmworker and Rural Organizations “MAFO Lifetime Achievement Award.”  A distinctive honor was being asked by and being a member of President Clinton’s delegation to Bolivia for a national celebration during his presidency.

In 2000 Ella was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Since then her role has expanded to include advocating for the rights of the disabled.  She has been named to the Nebraska Advocacy Services, Inc., Citizen Advocacy Committee and as an Advocate-At-Large to the Nebraska Minority Health Council.

Ella has been sought as a speaker for farmworker, women, minority, and disability related events.  In 2009 she was the Nebraska subject of the 50 in 52 Journey.  50 in 52 means all fifty states, plus Washington D.C., were visited over the 52 weeks in 2009 to find America’s problem solvers and idea generators. Ella’s interview by Dafna Michaelson can be found in two places:  Dafna’s print blog is here and on the 50in52journey YouTube channel.

Before sending you off to see the video, I’ll end by saying Ella is a great friend, wonderful inspiration, and truly worthy of being remembered during this and every National Farmworker Awareness Week.


National Farmworker Awareness Week 2012

This week, March 25 – 31, is being recognized as National Farmworker Awareness Week.  Farmworker advocates across the country remind our country that farmworkers remain one of our hardest working and most underpaid workforce.

The highlight of this week’s events must be the induction of the Pioneers of the Farm Worker Movement into the Labor Hall of Honor in Washington, D.C.  Established in 1988, the Hall of Honor showcases those Americans whose distinctive contributions in the field of labor have elevated working conditions, wages, and over-all quality of life of America’s workers and their families and communities.

Yesterday, March 26, Department of Labor Secretary Hilda, a Bracero daughter, presided over this year’s induction ceremony.  During her speech she outlined the history of advocacy and struggle for fair wages and working conditions, beginning with the organizers of the Colored Farmers Alliance (1900) to the Southern Tenants Farmers Union (1930s) to the United Farm Workers of America (1960s) and many, many other organizations active to this day.

An online search of National Farmworker Awareness Week leads to the Student Action With Farmworkers (SAF), an organization which traces its history to the 1970s and Duke University.  SAF incorporated as a nonprofit in 1992. Since then, it has directly impacted thousands of farmworkers, students and community members in North Carolina and the whole country.

Because we all eat, we should all stop and reflect on what it takes to get food to our tables.  To go further, SAF suggests activities which can take place in communities or campuses, including screening a farmwork-related film for discussion, inviting a panel of farmworkers to speak to your group, or posting factsheets in conspicuous locations.

For those on social media, a very fun idea is actually quite simple: post a photo of yourself holding a sign that states why you support farmworkers with your name, city, and state.  My blurry picture is below.

Information about Labor’s Hall of Honor and Secretary Solis’ induction speech can be found here.  Information about SAF and its work can be found here.