Migrant Justice's Silenced Voices Documentary Film

Click below for more information:

VT Immigrant and Farmworker Rights Resources

2014 Transportation Guidelines for Volunteer Drivers in the Solidarity Transportation Network:

Migrant Justice Ally Orientation 2014

6 Steps for Allies to Support Access to Driver's Privilege Card/ID

Frequently Asked Questions by Allies about Why get a Driver's Privilege Card/ID

Access to Drivers Licenses in Vermont

The Mexican Consulate in Boston:

Addison County Farmworker Coalition

Central VT Farmworker Coalition

New Neighbors Project at VT Center for Crime Victim Services

VT Human Rights Commission

South Royalton Legal Clinic/VT Law School

VT Workers' Center (Workers' Rights Hotline)

VT Migrant Education Program

The Open Door Clinic

NOTCH Health Clinics

List of Vermont Health Clinics

Reports on VT Migrant Farm Worker Health

Myths and Realities about Vermont Farmworkers

List of VT News Papers for Letters to the Editor

For Educators

Below are some suggestions of a variety of resources that support teachers to engage students about the inter-related topics of immigration, migrant farm workers, Vermont food systems, and globalization into classrooms.

Let us know if we can be of further help:

2-page Migrant Justice Handout for Educators w/ resources, links and lesson plan suggestions:

1) VT Dairy, Migrant Farmworkers, and the global food system:

Study Guide to Accompany our documentary film Silenced Voices to help educators organize discussions and lessons after showing the film:

VT Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project’s Video and Audio:

The VT Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project is helping to support a group of workers to produce a newsletter in Spanish. The newsletter 'Nadando Contra La Corriente' (Swimming Against the Current) provides real life local stories of interest that can be used in Spanish classes:

Return to Sender is a novel by Vermont author Julia Alvarez that tells the story of how a Mexican migrant familes' struggle to make ends meet lands them on a Vermont dairy farm also struggling to make ends meet. This is a great book for middle school classes and is available in English and Spanish (good for high school and university students).

There is also a study guide to help teachers plan lessons below. Check out the blog of Lincoln Community School teacher Alice Leeds who read the book and created a play about it:

The Golden Cage audio interviews and photos documenting the life of migrant farmworkers and dairy farmers in VT:

Under the Cloak of Darkness is an on-line documentary film that documents the life of Vermont’s migrant farmworkers and dairy farmers.

Warning: Border Under Construction is a VT made documentary that explores the reorganization and regulation of life on the VT/Canada border and its repercussions for ordinary people.

Milking It! Small Farmers and International Trade is an educational resource by Oxfam that compares the lives of two dairy farmers in very different countries. How are they affected by international trade rules? Who makes these rules, and what can we do to change them?

While Vermont has roughly 1200-1500 migrant dairy workers, Wisconsin has over 5,000 migrant dairy farm workers. Though the contexts are different there are also many similarities. These links provide more information about Wisconsin's migrant dairy workers:

This award winning audio documentary series from David Somerstein from North Country Public Radio documents a trip a group of Northern New York Dairy Farmers made to Mexico to better understand where their employees were migrating from.

The Dark Side of Dairies: Every day, agricultural workers risk their lives to produce America's milk

This 2003 Report by UCONN Food Marketing Policy Center Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics University of Connecticut is a great detailed look at the corporate control of dairy industry and its impacts on farmers:

A 2016 article in the New Labor Forum on the Dairy Industry's national switch to immigrant workers, its effects, and how workers are organizing for their rights: Milking Workers

2) The history of VT Agriculture:

Filmed in Orange County, Vermont, featuring Kenneth and Helen O’Donnell and their draft horses, Last Stand Farmer is a documentary record, filmed through four seasons, of the life and philosophy of an elderly hill farmer and his struggle to keep his 19th century farm operation going. Soon after he viewed the finished film, Kenneth O’Donnell died; his widow sold the farm and moved away the following spring.

Without a Farmhouse Near by Deborah Rawson is a great book to help understand the struggles of maintaining family dairy farms in Vermont. Although the book was published in the 1989 it foreshadows why so many Vermont dairy farmers came to rely on migrant labor just 10 years after the book was written.

Never Done: Farm Life in Vermont looks back at VT agriculture through oral history stories with VT farmers.

Hands on the Land: A History of the Vermont Landscape examines the history—natural, environmental, social, and ultimately human—of one of America's most cherished landscapes: Vermont. It explores the history of dairy farming, which provides helpful context to explore the forces that led Vermont farmers to come to rely on migrant labor:

Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists and the Ecology of New England by William Cronon traces how broader political and economic changes since the arrival of the colonists have massively transformed the human-environment relationship in New England and produced entirely new landscapes that reflect these broader changes. The book provides an excellent historical back drop to explore the recent inter-relationships between migrant farm workers from Mexico and struggling Vermont dairy farms in Vermont.

VT Feed and the Farm to School Initiative have some great ready to go lessons for teachers on Vermont agriculture, farming, and food systems:

3) Globalization and Migration: Teaching for Equity and Justice:

Rethinking Schools has a variety of excellent resources to help educators organize units around migration and globalization such as:

BRIDGE: Building a Race and Immigration Dialogue in the Global Economy. A Popular Education Resource for Immigrant and Refugee Community Organizers

UPROOTED: Refugees of the Global Economy is a compelling documentary about how the global economy has forced people to leave their home countries.

The Roots of Migration is an on-line documentary film that explores the important question: why do so many people migrate to the United States from Mexico and what are the impacts on communities in Mexico?

4) Farmworker and Immigrant Justice:

The Student Farm Worker Alliance has an impressive list of articles and books to choose from:

These short on-line PBS NOW Videos document the Coalition of Immokalee Workers from Florida who have waged impressive and successful struggles against modern day slavery in US agriculture and their multi-faceted campaigns have successfully challenged food giants Taco Bell, McDonald’s and Burger King.

This video covers the May 2007 Nation Wide Marches for Immigrant Rights:

Here is a link to dozens of video and audio clips from the United Farmworkers:

5) Immigration Policy and Enforcement:

Up to date information about Immigration Policy and Enforcement:

An interview available in video or audio from Democracy Now about the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border. We suggest searching on democracy now for additional resources/interviews to keep current.

Injustice for All: The Rise of the Immigration Control Regime is the executive summary of National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Right's 2009-2010 HURRICANE human rights report documenting U.S. human rights violations committed against immigrant families, workers and communities.

Excluded and Exploited: The New Regime of Trade, Managed Migration and Repression is a new in depth report about the relationships between economic globalization and migration: 2009 Amnesty International Report on US Detention System

6) Good readings, literature and creative writing on immigration, farm workers, borders and border crossings:

Luis Alberto Urrea's books including Across the Wire and the Devil's Highway are highly recommended reading for teachers looking to creatively engage the border and immigration issues:

Ruben Martinez's Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant trail is a must read for those looking at the complexities of migration, identity, and transnational communities

Author Wendy call has some great suggestions for further reading here:

English Language Learning resources and Popular Education

Matt Noyes is a long-time popular educator and movement educator who has some great resources for ESL teachers who are interested in working with students to engage real life problems and struggles that are on his website and blog:

Nina Wallerstein and Elsa Auerbach have published several books and resources, working together and separately, that are great tools for ESL teachers trying interested in popular education:

Wallerstein and Auerbach inspired working draft of a booklet adapted and designed with VT context in mind for ESL teachers working on dairy farms with migrant farm workers wanting to utilize Problem-Posing ESL Popular Education techniques:

Though, this isn't specifically designed for ELL educators this text has some great and easy to adapt popular education activities and does a great job introducing popular education in an accessible way:

Farmworker and Immigrant Rights

This is a list of some national and local organizations working everyday for the human rights, dignity and justice for farmworkers and immigrants.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Food Chain Workers Alliance

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

National Day Laborer Organizing Network

Southwest Workers' Union

Border Agricultural Workers Project/Sin Fronteras Organizing Project

Border Network for Human Rights// Red Fronteriza de Derechos Humanos

No More Deaths BorderLinks

Humane Borders

Coalicion de Derechos Humanos

Frontera de Cristo and Cafe Justo and

Immigrant Youth Justice

Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research & Action (TIGRA)

New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City

Florida Immigration Coalition

Somos Un Pueblo Unido

Student/Farmworker Alliance

United Farm Workers

Farm Worker Labor Organizing Committee

National Farm Worker Ministry

US Human Rights Network

Grassroots Global Justice

Jobs with Justice

Via Campesina

Detention Watch Network

National Immigration Project

National Immigration Law Center

National Immigrant Justice Center I

Migrant Defense Project

Rights Working Group

DC Jobs With Justice

Domestic Workers United

Campaign for Labor Rights

Student Action with Farmworkers

Family Farming, Food Justice and Farmworker Rights

These organizations see the need to bring together family farming, food justice and farmworker rights organizations to rebuild our food systems!

Family Farm Defenders

National Family Farm Coalition Food First

Via Campesina

Rural Vermont

Root Causes of Migration: Globalization of agriculture

Many immigrants in Vermont and throughout the US are displaced family farmers from other countries who have suffered greatly from the advancement of the globalization of corporate agriculture, which promotes unequal competition between huge subsidized corporate agribusiness with small farmers. Since the 1994 passage of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Mexico lost over 2 million farming jobs and the number of Mexicans migrating to the U.S. each year has more than doubled. Subsidies, price supports, and various programs supporting small farmers were eliminated due to NAFTA.

Root Causes of Migration by the VT Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project is a 3 part interview with CIEPAC's (The Center for Political Investigation and Education in Chiapas, Mexico) Abraham Rivera about the forces that drive people to migrate from Chiapas and the challenges and possibilities to create alternatives to mass migration:

The Roots of Migration is a documentary film that explores the important question: why do so many people migrate to the United States from Mexico and what are the impacts on communities in Mexico? SW

Border Farmworkers

National Family Farm Coalition

Via Campesina

Family Farm Defenders

Alliance for Responsible Trade (ART)

Public Citizen

Quixote Center

Hemispheric Social Alliance/Alianza Social Continental

Food First

Global Exchange


The VT Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project met with these organizations on its January 2010 delegation to Mexico:


Otros Mundos Chiapas