Essay and Art Contests: Growing Up in the Fields that Feed America

Press Release ( - WASHINGTON - Aug 01, 2017 - Every year, children across the United States, ranging in ages from 10-18 submit descripted essays or telling posters about working in the fields of America as part of the annual Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs’ (AFOP) Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Children Essay and Art Contests.

The theme for the 2017 contest was Growing Up in the Fields that Feed America, which drew entries depicting how these writers and artist from farmworker families experience working in American fields. The winners were selected and invited to present their winning entries at AFOP’s 2017 National Conference, September 19-21 in Las Vegas, Nevada.   Also, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place entries for each category will appear in AFOP’s September issue of the Washington Newsline.


ESSAY WINNERS – Age Category 14-18 ART WINNERS – Age Category 14-18
1st place Teresita Daniela Paz (Clinton, NC) 1st place Norman Gonzalez (Bakersfield, CA)
2nd place Lizeth Caballero (Bakersfield, CA) 2nd place Siclali Antonio Garcia (Autryville, NC)
3rd place Diana Caballero (Bakersfield, CA) 3rd place Maria Celeste Carbajal (Newton Grove, NC)
ESSAY WINNERS – Age Category 10-13 ART WINNERS – Age Category 10-13
1st place Licsy Limon (Bakersfield, CA) 1st place Julieta J Cruz Flores of Bakersfield, CA
2nd place Melanie Gonzalez (Bakersfield, CA) 2nd place Aaron Cruz Flores Jr. (Bakersfield, CA)
3rd place Camila Figueroa (Bakersfield, CA) 3rd place Camila Figueroa (Bakersfield, CA)

The essays and artwork will be complied along with other selected entries in a booklet to be presented to key members of Congress. The goal of this booklet will be to share a piece of the lives of migrant and seasonal farmworker youth in order to raise awareness of the discriminatory agriculture exemption in the current federal child labor law.

Children as young as 12 are legally allowed to work for unlimited amount of hours outside of school in our nation’s fields and orchards. Despite agriculture being consistently ranked the most dangerous occupation in America for children, there are an estimated 300,000-500,000 children working to harvest fruits and vegetables that end up on our tables. Burdened with an overload of school and work responsibilities and health injuries related to pesticide exposure, musculoskeletal problems, and the prevalence of accidents with farm machinery their future often looks a lot like their present. AFOP gives these children a chance to have their voices have their voices heard in our annual Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Children Essay and Art Contest.

About the Children in the Fields Campaign: The Children in the Fields Campaign is a project of the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP), a national federation of non-profit and public agencies that provide job training and services for America’s farmworkers. The campaign strives to improve the quality of life of migrant and seasonal farmworker children by advocating for enhanced educational opportunities and the elimination of discriminatory federal child labor laws in agricultural opportunity and the elimination of discriminatory federal child labor laws in agriculture.  For additional comment or interview from an AFOP expert, please contact Project Coordinator Tiffany Baker at (202) 384-1755 or or CIFC Director, Melanie Forti at (202) 384-1771 or

Source : Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs


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