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Extension > Family > Supporting Farm Families > Supporting Agricultural Workers from Mexico: Balancing Work and Family Demands > About this Program

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Supporting Agricultural Workers from Mexico: Balancing Work and Family Demands

hispanic agricultural worker in field

About this Program

This program is based on data from a University of Minnesota research study that was funded by the National Institute for Food and Agriculture International Science and Education Program. Mexican agricultural workers in Southern Minnesota and one of their family members in Mexico were interviewed to better understand their work and family situations. Results of the study were used to guide the video and the accompanying educational materials.

The people in the video are not the people who were interviewed for the research study. They were asked to get involved in the video project because they personally had similar experiences to those in the research study.

While the research focused specifically on workers from Mexico, we believe the ideas can be applied to other Latino/a agriculture workers’ situations. For more information on the research project, contact Cathy Solheim.

Program Objectives

By completing this program, employers will:

  1. Understand the significant role Latino/a agriculture workers play in the United States economy.
  2. Be aware of the Latino/a worker population’s contribution to the U.S. economy.
  3. Understand the complex lives of workers from Mexico.
  4. Identify their employees’ needs and situations, including:
    • The complex nature of family care across countries.
    • Communication and language challenges.
    • Culture challenges.
    • Financial needs (advance payments, short-term loans, etc.).
    • Reasons employees are in the United States, e.g., a strong need for money to care for parents in their home country, and/or a lack of work opportunities in their home country.
  5. Understand their role in facilitating a positive work environment and improved relationships and communication among employers and employees.
  6. Develop a plan for creating a safe, healthy work environment — both physically and emotionally.
  7. Be aware of agencies (national, regional, state, county, and city) to aid their Latino/a workers.

This program was developed in 2011 by Antonio Alba Meraz, Extension educator in family resource management; Patricia D. Olson, program leader for family relations and family resource management; Gabriela Burk, community program specialist in family resource management; and Catherine A. Solheim, associate professor in family social science and principal investigator for the related research project.

For questions on this program, contact Antonio Alba Meraz (; 507-389-6764).

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