There are approximately 2.5 million people who perform hired agricultural work in the United States. These workers face numerous hardships in the course of their normal work day, in addition to the added stress they face as a result of the seasonal nature of their work. According to data from the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries surveillance system, the agricultural industry has the second highest rate of occupational fatalities in the United States. Although poor working conditions for hired farm workers have been a persistent problem in the United States, they have not received sufficient attention. In 1990, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), with a congressional mandate, began an agricultural safety and health initiative. As part of this initiative, NIOSH convened a work group in May 1995 consisting of experts in the areas of public policy, farm worker health, and occupational health, to assist in developing a prioritized set of objectives for the surveillance of hired farm worker occupational safety and health. In addition to the original meeting, work group members consulted with one another over the course of a year to finalize the priorities.