Educating stakeholders in the farmworker community

The Cornell Farmworker Program transforms their in depth experience with farmworkers to inform a wider audience about best practices and make recommendations to policies that affect the health and livelihood of our community. 


English language instruction improves a student’s speaking, reading, and writing skills in English as well as their confidence in being able to share their thoughts with their employers and managers. Increasingly, farm owners are realizing the benefits of having their workers participate in English classes both on and off the farm. There are several resources available to help workers learn key farm terminology. Individual tutors are available for on-farm instruction through the CFP and other local literacy organizations (Literacy NY). For workers over 21 years of age, employers can contact the CFP for referral to other agencies and organizations that provide on-farm instruction in English. Local literacy programs can be accessed through this Literacy Directory. Workers 21 years of age or younger can access English language classes through the Migrant Education Tutorial and Support Services Program. 

Those farms where employers and managers learn some Spanish, have better communication around labor issues. In this research, farmworkers expressed appreciation for those that try to learn some Spanish. In addition to improving communication in the workplace, efforts to learn Spanish signals to workers they are valued and appreciated. A helpful resource for dairy farmers is Mango, a free, on-line language learning tool available through most public libraries. 

Workers must be 21 or younger to participate, and have moved over county lines within the previous two years). 

Migrant Education Contact Information 

  • Brockport METS - 585-395-2356 
  • Cortland METS - 607-753-4706 
  • Fredonia METS - 716-673-3526 
  • Genesee Valley METS - 585-658-7975 
  • Long Island-Metro METS - 631-548-7700 
  • Mid-Hudson METS - 845-257-2950 
  • Mohawk Regional METS - 315-867-2079
  • North Country METS - 315-267-2514 
  • Oswego METS - 315-963-4265 

Literacy New York (LNY) and its accredited network of 35 local, community based affiliates provide high quality, individualized one-to-one and small group tutoring to low reading level literacy and English language learners. For more information, please visit Literacy New York.