Cornell University

Catherwood Library

Catherwood Library, Ives Hall, 607-255-5435

Question of the Month

From the Catherwood Library reference librarians

January 2002

PLEASE NOTE: The Reference Question of the Month is kept current only during the month for which it was written. Archived questions will not be updated, and over time may contain inaccurate information or broken web links. We provide archived questions as a service, since much of the information will remain accurate and of continued interest to the ILR community.

Question: What resources can be used to find information about workplace issues concerning farmers and agricultural workers?


Major Data Collections

Economic Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Farm and Farm-related Employment
Estimates of farm and farm-related employment are derived by combining farm employment data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis with an enhanced file of the Census Bureau's County Business Patterns. These estimates, which are rich in geographic detail, provide valuable information about the importance of agriculture in various regions of the country. Farm and farm-related industries, such as farm production, processing and marketing of agricultural goods, and agricultural wholesale and retail trade, are generally identified as industries having 50 percent or more of their national workforce employed in providing goods and services necessary to satisfy the final demand for agricultural products.

For more information see - Farm and Farm-related Employment Data

State Fact Sheets
State fact sheets provide information on population, employment, income, farm characteristics, and farm financial indicators for each state in the United States.

Census of Agriculture
For example - See "data queries" in left column; select a state, then a county, use pull-down menu to go to "table 5 - hired farm-labor workers and payroll"; then click on "Get the above selected report."

Farm Labor
This file contains regional and national data for self-employed, unpaid, and hired workers and wage rates for selected weeks; also hired worker numbers and wage rates for selected states.

Major Descriptive Overviews with Links

Farm Labor (Briefing Room)

Includes, for example, references to

The National Agricultural Workers Survey

Farm Labor: Farm Safety (injuries and fatalities on U.S. farms) 

Career Guide to Industries
  • Public Policy Issues
    • Farmworker Justice Fund, Inc. (FJF)
      The Farmworker Justice Fund, Inc. (FJF) is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the living and working conditions of migrant and seasonal farmworkers throughout the United States. Using a multi-faceted approach, FJF engages in litigation, administrative and legislative advocacy, training and technical assistance and public education. FJF focuses primarily on wages and working conditions, immigration policy and welfare reform issues, women's issues, occupational safety and health and access to the justice system.FJF was founded in 1981 and is based in Washington, D.C. FJF works with farmworkers and their organizations throughout the nation. In 1996, FJF became a subsidiary corporation of National Council of La Raza, the nation's largest constituency-based Hispanic civil rights organization. FJF maintains an independent Board of Directors and 501(c)(3) status as a charitable corporation.
    • Immigration of Agricultural Guest Workers: Policy, Trends, and Legislative Issues  - Updated August 23, 2001, from the Congressional Research Service (pdf)

— Researched by smb6