Health status and needs of Latino dairy farmworkers in Vermont

J Agromedicine. 2012;17(3):277-87. doi: 10.1080/1059924X.2012.686384.


Vermont is a new Latino destination where many Spanish-speaking migrants have found work on dairy farms. One hundred twenty Latino workers were surveyed on 59 Vermont dairy farms to develop a demographic profile and evaluate their self-assessed health status and barriers to care. The study found, similar to other studies, the majority of workers were young, male Mexicans. However, the workers in this study, as compared to others, originated farther south in Mexico and there were significant regional differences in educational attainment. Workers defined health in terms of their ability to work and the majority believed themselves to be in good health. The majority felt that moving to the United States has not changed their health status. The most common health issue reported was back/neck pain, followed by dental and mental health issues. Workers are both physically and linguistically isolated and reported isolation as the most challenging aspect of dairy farm work. Fear of immigration law enforcement was the primary barrier to care. Community-based initiatives, including partnerships with colleges and universities, outreach to farm employers and the adoption of "bias-free policing" are strategies that can increase access to health care for Latino dairy farmworkers in the United States.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Dairying*
  • Data Collection
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Mexico
  • Neck Pain / epidemiology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Transients and Migrants / psychology*
  • Vermont / ethnology
  • Workforce