OXNARD, Calif. – On Thursday, August 22 the County of Ventura’s Farmworker Resource Program hosted a reception in celebration of the launch of the program and to introduce the community to the staff and services available to both farmworkers and growers in the region. The reception, which hosted 200 guests, was held at the program’s Oxnard offices located at 1400 Vanguard Drive.
“This is a great achievement for our community and the turnout for this event is evidence of that,” said Mike Powers, County Executive Officer. “I commend Supervisors Steve Bennett and John Zaragoza and the entire County Board of Supervisors for their participation in the creation of this program and ensuring that all stakeholders were heard and could participate in the process. Agriculture strongly drives our economy and we look forward to seeing the agricultural community strengthened and relationships built that will benefit our communities throughout the county for years to come.”
The Farmworker Resource Program – whose staff officially began outreach into the community in July 2019 – was developed by an eight-member advisory committee, facilitated by the County Executive Office, that included members appointed by the Ventura County Farm Bureau and the Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP). The committee held 14 organizing meetings to allow for public participation and comment in the development of the program. Going forward, the committee will also monitor and evaluate the program.
The Farmworker Resource Program is designed to build trust and relationships among the agricultural community, and to assist in facilitating prompt resolutions to workplace concerns such as payroll issues and working conditions, navigating services available from public agencies, and leveraging existing resources. The program is staffed by two trilingual employees who speak Mixteco, Spanish, and English, are knowledgeable about the agriculture industry, and can serve as outreach resources to farmworkers and their employers. In order to assure access for individuals seeking assistance across the county, offices and varying hours of service are available in the cities of Oxnard, Santa Paula, and Fillmore.
Ribbon Cutting - L to R: Israel Vásquez, Supervisor Steve Bennett, Lukas Zucker (CAUSE), Tracey Gallaher, Ellen Brokaw, Mike Powers, County Executive Officer, Talia Barrera, Fatima Peña, Melissa Livingston, Barry Zimmerman, Juvenal Solano (MICOP)