AmeriCorps Teaches Pesticide Safety AmeriCorps members will educate over 20,000 farmwokers on pesticide safety. Published on: Feb 16, 2010 Tweet Post to Your Wall. Email Story RSS Permalink Print The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs' Farmworker Health & Safety Alliance, Washington D.C. held its SAFE AmeriCorps Member Orientation today at the National Chavez Center in Tehachapi. Seventeen of the SAFE AmeriCorps programs participated in this five day event to prepare them to train farmworkers in Spanish and English on how to protect themselves from the effects of pesticides. The orientation ended with a Swearing-In Ceremony administered by special guest Arturo Rodriguez, President of the United Farm Workers. "I am honored to participate in the SAFE AmeriCorps Swearing-In of 17 people who will provide essential training and education on pesticide safety to America's farmworkers," says Arturo S. Rodriguez. "In 2000, the EPA estimated there were 300,000 cases of farmworker pesticide poisonings each year. It is my hope that these men and women will help lower that number." The program will deploy a total of 28 fully bilingual AmeriCorps members throughout the United States. They will play an integral role in meeting the vital needs of rural agricultural communities by going into the fields and labor camps and providing farmworkers with pesticide safety education, take-home exposure training, heat stress prevention and other important health and safety topics. "Nearly 90 % of the farmworkers we train have never received pesticide safety instruction," says Levy Schroeder, Director of the Health & Safety Alliance at AFOP. "The 28 SAFE AmeriCorps members participating in this program will help AFOP expand our reach, making an impact in their communities and in the lives of the 20,000 farmworkers they will reach in the 38,000 hours of service they will contribute." AmeriCorps is a national service program that engages Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to meet critical needs in education, the environment, public safety, and other areas. Its members serve in thousands of nonprofit and faith-based organizations in rural and urban communities throughout the nation. Among other activities, AmeriCorps members tutor and mentor youth, build affordable housing, teach computer skills, clean parks and streams, run after-school programs, help communities respond to disasters, and recruit and train volunteers.