We are a faith-based farm worker solidarity organization serving the local farm worker community in the Northwest.
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FWM-NW began in June 1985 as the Oregon Farm Worker Ministry (OFWM). We became a member of the National Farm Worker Ministry (NFWM) that same year. Founding members Rosie & Vern Cooperrider, David Papen and Gary Massoni worked alongside César Chávez in the 60s and continued their efforts when they moved to the Northwest in the late 70s. David Papen had worked with farm worker organizations like the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) in Louisiana before moving to the Northwest, and he continued those efforts with the OFWM when he moved here and co-founded the OFWM. In the late 80s, they began working with the locally-based Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste/Treeplanters and Farm Workers of the Northwest United (PCUN). The OFM's work with PCUN initiated a commitment to local farm worker organizations that we continue into the present day.
“¡Si se puede!”
— César Chávez, UFW
In August of 2014, the Oregon Farm Worker Ministry changed our name to the Farm Worker Ministry-Northwest (FWM-NW) in recognition of our expanding regional role. We now have a members across the Northwest, inluding Oregon and Washington, and we have expanded our partner organizations to include Familias Unidas Por La Justicia (FUJ) and the United Farm Workers (UFW). To learn more about our farm worker partner organizations, see our Campaign Pages.
The FWM-NW is solidarity organization, which means that we respect and recognize farm workers' agency to speak for themselves. Since the 1930s, farm workers have been organizing themselves to fight for their rights as workers. In the 1960s, the UFW organizer, César Chávez, in particular, called on faith communities to offer more than "charity" to farm workers. Instead, he argued, faith communities should work alongside farm workers, fighting for justice. We, along with the NFWM, join a host of faith communities who have responded to that call by working in solidarity with farm workers. We believe that farm workers know best how to meet their needs, and we advocate on their behalf on campaigns that they take lead on.
of farm workers are undocumented.
of farm workers are US citizens.
of farm workers are legal permanent residents.
Many people do not realize that the vegetables and fruits we buy at local grocery stores are hand picked by farm workers. We depend on farm workers for the food we eat everyday, yet many of them struggle to provide food that same food for their families.