Make a positive impact on our farmworker community

Students and volunteers receive extensive training and contribute in meaningful ways to research and educational outreach with farmworkers and farm owners. Get involved with the Cornell Farmworker Program and help us improve the living and working conditions of farmworkers and their families. 


Cornell Farmworker Internship Program: Addressing the Needs of Immigrant Farmworkers in NYS

The Cornell Farmworker Program (CFP) offers summer internships for Cornell students who want to support the program’s mission of addressing the needs of farmworkers and their families. Interns receive extensive training in research methodologies, cultural competency, and approaches for developing resources and activities responsive to farmworker-identified priorities. Interns are integrated into the CFP’s ongoing collaborations with farmworkers, and can expect to contribute in meaningful ways to the CFP’s research and outreach efforts.

Throughout the summer internship and fall one-credit course (GDEV 3060), students examine farmworker knowledge;  their contributions to society; and health, education, legal and labor challenges faced by immigrant workers.  Interns also develop materials and approaches that address these pressing concerns.


The application deadline for Summer 2024 internships is March 10, 2024. 

Application instructions

Interns work as a team to support ongoing CFP projects. Summer activities take place both on campus in Warren Hall, and on farms and other sites throughout New York State. CFP interns also participate in a one-credit fall course titled "Farmworkers: Contemporary Issues and Their Implications," where they reflect on their experiences and finalize materials and projects developed during the internship.

Summer projects vary by year, but may include:

  • Conducting research to assess farmworker needs (housing, education, labor issues, health issues, etc)

  • Developing educational materials and animated videos in partnership with farmworkers

  • Surveying farmworker service agencies about their interactions with local workers

  • Interviewing farmworkers about immigration concerns and developing relevant materials

  • Supporting upstate visits of the Mexican and Guatemalan consulates, educational workshops and legal clinics

  • Analyzing research data to help advocate for farmworker identified needs

Day-to-day work of interns will likely include:

  • Participating in trainings with the CFP Director for cultural competency, research methods, and more
  • Visiting farms and farmworker events (usually in small groups of 2-3 interns)
  • Transcribing and translating interviews and focus group notes or recordings
  • Analyzing interview and focus group data
  • Developing materials for research and outreach publications and presentations
  1. Set up a meeting with Mary Jo Dudley, Director of the Cornell Farmworker Program (farmworkers [at] (farmworkers[at]cornell[dot]edu)), to discuss the internship opportunities and your areas of interest. Please include possible meeting dates and times upon initial request.
  2. Following first meeting, submit the following materials: 
    • Your resume (including name, local and home address, telephone number, and email address) 
    • A cover letter outlining a) the area of interest (both topic and geographic interest) and b) skills and strengths you will bring to the internship program, and c) proposed learning goals
    • Three letters of recommendation using the CFP recommendation form.
    • A hard copy of your official transcript.

Submit your application package via email to farmworkers [at] (farmworkers[at]cornell[dot]edu) or via mail to: 

Attn: Mary Jo Dudley

Director, Cornell Farmworker Program

Department of Global Development

275 Warren Hall

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853

What our interns say

"I won’t ever be able to drink a glass of milk or eat a piece of fruit without stopping to think about where that food came from."

"The mission and vision of CFP were a part of each project I participated in while an intern, and all of my time and work product went directly towards improving the working conditions and lives of farmworkers.  The team-oriented aspect of CFP is one of the program’s strongest assets."

"The CFP internship program was the most valuable academic and professional experience I have had as a recent college graduate. I have been able to sharpen my Spanish skills and interviewing skills over the summer months as an intern, and I have also learned how to organize and report the data we collected to make contributions to our greater knowledge of farmworkers and their lives. In addition, the experience has been incredibly rewarding due to its extension and outreach initiatives.  I have been touched by the wonderful people I have met in my field research with the CFP."

"Working with farmworkers through my internships with the CFP in 2006 and 2007 inspired me to attend law school to pursue a career in enforcing workers’ rights, particularly for marginalized groups such as farmworkers."


Volunteer with the Cornell Farmworker Program

Get Involved

Make a difference in your local community

Our work would not be possible without the valuable commitment from our volunteers. Volunteers perform duties that directly impact the lives of farmworkers and their families, such as offering transportation, tutoring for English as a second language, providing interpretation services, organizing donation drives, graphic design, event coordination and more. Have questions? Send us an email at farmworkers [at] (farmworkers[at]cornell[dot]edu) or give us a call at 607-255-9710. Fill out a volunteer application to get started. We look forward to working with you! 

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