Emerging Issues Program

Agricultural workers harvesting lettuce

The goal of the Emerging Issues Program is to respond quickly to emerging agricultural health and safety topics.

This program has the potential to mobilize academic expertise and achieve breakthroughs in never or understudied areas of agricultural occupational health, and to create relationships between Center members and potential new members, both at UC Davis and at other institutions.


women farmworkers in fieldSexual Harassment of Hispanic Women Farmworkers in the Agricultural Workplace

PI: Stephen McCurdy, MD, MPH, UC Davis

Sexual harassment (SH) is a problem in the agricultural industry. It affects health and safety because victims can suffer physically, socially, psychologically, and economically.

This project investigates attitudes, perspectives, beliefs, and experiences regarding SH in agricultural workplaces through focus groups and surveys among men and women farmworkers, and employer questionnaires. This bi-national project is being carried out in California and Mexico.

 Male and female CA focus groups felt that SH prevention could be improved, and suggestions included gender-segregated crews, a dress code, and frequent education about SH for supervisors, crew leaders, workers, and transporters. Graduate student Kimberly Prado posted a WCAHS blog about her research experience.

Information gained from the study will be used to develop educational materials and recommendations for agricultural employers and workers to reduce SH.

Contact: Stephen McCurdy (samcurdy@ucdavis.edu) and Kimberly Prado (kyprado@ucdavis.edu)

Download project description


Aerial view of a cannabis farmWorker Health and Safety in Cannabis Growing and Processing

PI: Marc Schenker, MD, MPH, UC Davis

There is minimal research on the occupational health and safety risks specific to cannabis cultivation. This project aims to determine the key health and safety risks of the industry as a whole, as well as for specialized worker job categories.

The size and composition of the cannabis workforce, including characteristics of both the labor and farm types, will be identified through data collected from a review of the scientific literature, field visits, and discussions with owners of the facilities that were visited.

Contact: Marc Schenker (mbschenker@ucdavis.edu) & Chelsea Langer (celanger@ucdavis.edu)

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