- Gülcan Önel, PhD
- Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini, PhD, RN
- Antonio J. Tovar-Aguilar, PhD
Research Project Description
Small farmers and farmworkers form the core of rural Florida and the state’s agricultural industry, creating over two million jobs with an added value of over $125 billion annually. Over 90% of the farmworkers in Florida are immigrants, more than half of which lack proper documentation to work legally. Despite their contribution to the economy and sustainability of food production systems, little attention has been given to the unique social, economic, and political circumstances impeding health equity and well-being of rural farm communities in Florida.
This research project proposes to advance the understanding and promotion of the wellbeing of rural farmworkers and small farmers by quantifying multilayered relationships among mental, physical, and economic health within a systems framework utilizing multicultural research strategies and social network analysis. The team plans to establish a rural well-being database using structured survey instruments and qualitative interviews with 50 small farmers and 150 farmworkers of Mexican, Caribbean, and Central American origins (50 per group).
The data include a comprehensive questionnaire measuring their 1) mental and physical well-being 2) social ties and networks, and 3) demographic and economic background. The results from this project will be used to develop community action plans that address the mental health, physical health, and social health of small farmers and farmworkers in rural Florida.
Gülcan Önel, PhD
Gülcan Önel is an Assistant Professor of economics at the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Food and Resource Economics Department. Her research interests include immigration’s impact on the U.S. agricultural work force as well as statistical modeling of structural changes and their impact on food prices.
Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini, PhD, RN
Jeanne- Marie Stacciarini is an Associate Professor and the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Florida, College of Nursing. Her research focuses on social health determinants (SHDs) of mental well-being among rural Hispanic populations and involves community-based participatory research (CBPR) and mixed methods.
Antonio J. Tovar-Aguilar, PhD
Antonio Tovar-Aguilar is an anthropologist, community organizer and agroecology coordinator with the Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF). He advances FWAF’s efforts to develop research-based educational tools and policies improving health and well-being of farmworkers. Dr. Tovar-Aguilar has a wealth of knowledge in prevention of heat stress and pesticide exposure among farmworkers.