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This report addresses a 2022 legislative assignment, the first in a two-part series on the needs of farmworkers in Washington State and the role of state and federal agencies in addressing those needs. WSIPP will carry out a survey of Washington farmworkers during the 2024 growing and harvesting seasons to better understand their needs. As specified in the legislative assignment, questions will focus on workplace health and safety, the payment of wages, the use of government services, harassment and retaliation for asserting their rights, and other socioeconomic challenges.
This preliminary report provides a brief overview of US farmworkers and agriculture in Washington. We summarize the existing literature on challenges faced by farmworkers in the US related to workplace health and safety, labor and pay, immigration, and socioeconomics. Finally, we outline our plan to conduct the 2024 survey and detail work already completed in the survey effort.
A final report on the survey results, state agency coordination, and potential policies to address coordination will be published on June 30, 2025.
The legislature specifically directed WSIPP to study the needs of farmworkers and relevant policies and state agency programs. WSIPP was not asked to examine the perspective of farm owners or employers. This limitation will be discussed in the final report.