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  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development

Mary Jo Dudley, director of the Cornell Farmworker Program (CFP) and senior extension associate in Global Development, has been named to the National Advisory Council on Migrant Health (NACMH).

The fifteen member council’s mission is to improve health services and conditions for agricultural migratory and seasonal workers and their families. Council members, who each serve four-year terms, are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administrator of the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA). NACMH members advise, consult with, and make recommendations to HHS and HRSA to improve the health and safety of farmworkers nationwide.

Dudley’s research examines the contributions of farmworkers to the economic and social fabric of New York State, and centers on improving the living and working conditions of farmworkers and their families. Her research provides guidance for the development of materials and activities (primarily on-farm workshops) that address farmworker concerns on topics related to health, safety, cultural, labor, and immigration issues.

The Cornell Farmworker Program is a university- wide program that seeks recognition for farmworkers’ contributions to society and their acceptance and full participation in local communities. Dudley, who has led the CFP since 2006, has deep experience in how to prioritize the health and wellbeing of farmworkers and their families. Throughout the pandemic, the CFP, in partnership with Finger Lakes Community Health, provided critical educational services, transforming their activities nearly overnight to protect farmworkers as essential workers. The CFP hosted workshops and circulated information in English and Spanish by text to the 3800 farmworkers for whom they have personal cell phone numbers, and numerous farmers to ensure that everyone had accurate and up to date information to maximize worker’s safety.

Mary Zelazny, CEO of Finger Lakes Community Health, nominated Dudley for the position.  


Kelly Merchan is a communications specialist in the Department of Global Development.

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  • Department of Global Development
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