Project Summary

The US agricultural industry relies on the work of migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Yet, these workers face many challenges in accessing healthcare. For a variety of reasons—language barriers, migratory status, and long working hours—they have not been widely engaged in conversations about health care.

The project team’s solution is to obtain information about barriers, facilitators, and motivators to farmworker healthcare engagement. The project will include local, state/regional, and national representatives, and within those groups, farmworkers, providers, researchers, funders, and other key stakeholders. The project team’s focus will be on the Midwest Stream.

The overarching aim is to increase the knowledge base available about farmworkers’ preferences and needs as it relates to healthcare decisions and effective methods of engagement, and use that information to guide practice and research.

Short-term objectives include the following:

  • Review existing literature
  • Gather information on farmworkers’ needs, preferences, and desired health outcomes by directly engaging them and other key stakeholders
  • Utilize project information to begin developing a person-driven research agenda that can support PCOR
  • Reflect and document the team’s process of engaging migrant farmworkers

The project team’s long-term objective is to increase the amount of research conducted with farmworkers as partners and that focuses on needs and preferences that they identify.

The team will achieve these objectives by bringing together diverse perspectives. Staff from the University of Kansas (KU) serves as project lead with the Migrant Farmworkers Assistance Fund (MFAF) serving as community co-lead. A local providers group comprised of representatives serving migrant farmworkers will meet seven times. A second group, conducted in Spanish and meeting seven times, will be comprised of farmworkers to provide direct inclusion. To ensure that the work extends beyond the local area, the project team will have an Advisory Partners Group of regional, state, and national partners. Finally, the team will conduct oral surveys with migrant and seasonal farmworkers in multiple states to obtain their preferences on healthcare outcomes as well as facilitators, challenges, and motivators.

Deliverables include a review of the literature, an oral survey for collecting farmworker views, a beginning research agenda informed by farmworkers and key stakeholders, and a video that promotes farmworkers’ views.

KU and MFAF have many partners including Farmworker Justice, Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri, Juntos Center for Advancing Latino Health, Kansas Statewide Farmworker Health Program, Lafayette County Health Department, Migrant Clinicians Network, MHP Salud, National Center for Farmworker Health, REACH Healthcare Foundation, Rodgers Health, Treetop Productions, University of Kansas Center for Migration Research, and University of Kansas Center for the Study of Injustice.

Project Information

Cheryl Holmes, MPA, BSW
Michelle Levy, BSW, Susana Mariscal, PhD, MSW
University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc.

Key Dates

22 months


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: February 2, 2023