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Growth of the Spanish-speaking workforce in the Northeast dairy industry.

Authors
Jenkins-PL; Stack-SG; May-JJ; Earle-Richardson-G
Source
J Agromed 2009 Jan; 14(1):58-65
NIOSHTIC No.
20035758
Abstract
The Spanish-speaking proportion of the Northeast dairy industry workforce is believed to be increasing. This study quantifies the extent of this increase over time in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, and compares demographics between English- and Spanish-speaking workers. A total of 293 farms were followed for 21 months via telephone. The proportion of the Spanish-speaking dairy workforce was measured. Differences in demographic characteristics were assessed. The proportion of Spanish-speaking workers increased linearly for both large and small farms. The rate of increase was much greater on large farms. Linear models predicted that 53.2% of the large and 18.1% of the small farm workforce would be Spanish speaking within 5 years. Spanish-speaking workers worked significantly longer weeks than their English-speaking counterparts. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) monitoring cutoff for number of employees is currently 10. Consequently, the increase in the proportion of Spanish-speaking workers in dairy, who have been shown to work more hours per week, is likely to result in fewer workers per farm. This could have implications for farms currently under OSHA regulations based on having 10 or more workers, because farms with workers working longer hours per week will employ fewer workers overall. In addition, according to section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, these workers do not currently meet the migrant farmworker definition that would qualify them to receive primary health services from federally funded migrant health centers. New legislation is needed to formally qualify this growing indigent population to receive healthcare via channels that are currently available to migrant and seasonal farmworkers.
Keywords
Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Demographic-characteristics; Farmers; Health-care-facilities; Health-services; Racial-factors; Statistical-analysis; Author Keywords: Dairy employees; farmworker; Hispanic; longitudinal trends; migrant; Spanish-speaking workers
Publication Date
20090101
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
2009
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U50-OH-007542
Issue of Publication
1
ISSN
1059-924X
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
Journal of Agromedicine
State
PA; NY; VT
Performing Organization
Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital - Cooperstown, New York
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