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Founded in 2006, the UFW Foundation is a nonprofit organization that advocates for workers’ rights and protections for farm workers across the United States and provides educational outreach and critical services such as immigration legal services to low-income rural communities.

KVPR announced a new documentary series released this week by the United Farm Worker Foundation highlights how farm laborers face a wide range of risks and dangers while harvesting the nation’s crops, from sweltering temperatures to more frequent natural disasters

The five-part mini-series, called Farm Worker Voices, aims to show how climate change affects the everyday lives of agricultural laborers, and spotlights the stories of farmworkers across the country who are directly affected. The UFW Foundation is releasing a video every week until May 20.

“They’re extremely vulnerable to heat, illness and death. They’re vastly affected by climate change,” says Daniel Larios, a spokesperson for the foundation.

Two farmworkers from the San Joaquin Valley are featured in the series.

Elizabeth Ramirez, 44, from Bakersfield, talks in one video about the impacts brought on by last year’s record-breaking floods. Heavy rainfall from a series of record atmospheric rivers drenched the state and flooded farms.

“Before the floods, I’d never seen such a widespread loss of work,” Ramirez says in Spanish. “We couldn’t pay our bills or provide for our kids.”

Adela Leon, a 43-year-old farmworker from Fowler, speaks about another challenge for farmworkers – pesticides – and how a lack of protections from pesticide drift affected her while she was pregnant. “Sometimes [our bosses] don’t tell us what kind of chemical is being sprayed,” Leon says in Spanish. “I started having heart problems. My son was born with asthma and other health issues.”

Last year Regulators with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation filed suit in Kern County Superior Court against a company, known as Agra Fly, which drops pesticides onto agricultural fields using planes and helicopters. A judge temporarily ordered the company to stop aerially applying pesticides. Regulators say its operations resulted in at least six incidents of illegal drift, which is when a pesticide travels from its target area onto an unintended one.

“Defendants’ activities are a public nuisance that endanger the life, wellbeing, and property of the community. Each day that [Agra Fly] conduct aerial pesticide applications, the significant threat to the community exists,” reads the complaint.

In the last year, DPR took disciplinary action and then entered into a legal settlement with another company, Hollister-based TriCal Inc., following nine incidents and 61 violations in multiple Central California counties.

The documentary also calls attention to workers who have labored under scorching temperatures – an issue the Valley is familiar with. A farmworker reportedly died last August of heat exhaustion.

The UFW Foundation, through the series, is calling on state and federal agencies to implement stronger regulations to protect workers such as a national heat standard, pesticide bans, and more widely available relief programs. While there are some protections for outdoor workers in California, there is no federal heat standard.

“Climate change is real,” Larios of the foundation says. “We need to do more to support our farmworkers.”