2019 Planting Seeds of Partnership

“Planting Seeds of Partnership”
2019 State Conference for Successful Migrant and Seasonal
Farm Workers and their Families

This first annual statewide conference aims to encourage collaboration and learning among community partners that serve migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families. Our ultimate goal is to advance the lives of farmworkers and their families by improving educational, employment, and health outcomes.

Planting Seeds of Partnership conference programDates:
April 15, 2019: Pre-Conference
Mental Health First Aid
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
April 16-17, 2019
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
April 18, 2019
8:30 am – 12:00 pm
**Note: Thursday, April 18th is reserved for organization-specific meetings. At this time, only MEP and NDOL staff should plan to attend.**

Location: Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center, 110 S 2nd Avenue, Kearney, NE

Conference Program:  You will be provided with a printed copy of the conference program the day of the event.  You can view and print the session handouts by going to the bars below.

Planting Seed of Partnership flyer

Complete and submit the Registration form.  The conference registration fee is $80 per person and includes conference materials, luncheon, and refreshments. Once the Registration form is completed and submitted, Carolyn Koch, ESU 7, will reply by email with an invoice for the registration fee. Checks should be made out to ESU 7 and mailed to Carolyn Koch.  Registration deadline is April 8, 2019.

Educational Service Unit #7
Attn: Carolyn Koch
2657 44th Avenue
Columbus, NE 68601-8537
Federal Tax I.D. #47-0499223
Phone: 402.564.5753, Extension 1039
Fax: 402.563.1121
Email: ckoch@esu7.org

Including host hotel, the Holiday Inn, there are numerous hotel options within easy walking distance to the conference: La Quinta Inn, Fairfield Inn, and Hampton Inn to name a few. Still more are a short drive or longer walk away. Here is a link to hotels that are closest: https://younes.com/properties/

We do not have a block or group rate available.

PRE-CONFERENCE SESSION (Must pre-register)

8:30-5:00 . . . . . Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that gives people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it does build mental health literacy, helping the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness.

* Lunch is own your own

8:30 – 8:45 . . . . . WELCOME

8:45 – 10:00 . . . . . KEYNOTE, Change is Constant in Agriculture

For those of us who work in any way with those who work in agriculture it can be a whirlwind to keep up with all of the constant change. There are all sorts of internal and external factors that are directly impacting farm owners, agri-businesses, and the workers that work in farm related work across the country. In this presentation we will cover many of the current trends and impacts. These include tariffs, technology, international trade, robotics, farm increases and decreases in various sectors, specific Nebraska agriculture related trends, migration, labor issues, effects of consumer eating habits on ag industries and much more.

Jessica Castañeda, Consultant, Identification & Recruitment Rapid Response Consortium

10:10 – 11:10 . . . . . WORKSHOP SESSION #1

  • Overcoming Education Barriers for A Migrant Family (Education)
    My family moved to Kearney, NE from Venezuela. Many things changed in our lives, we were confronted with many different challenges like learning a new language, learning a new school system, etc. Soon we were submerged in in a sea of obstacles with many challenges to achieve. We needed to learn to navigate through these rough waters that were unknown to us, but we are here now and willing to fight every morning to support our children’s education, to help them to reach their dreams.

  • Immigration Law Updates (Legal)
    This presentation will cover how an individual can access help for their immigration legal matters through the Nebraska Immigration Legal Assistance Hotline (NILAH) and the services provided by Immigrant Legal Center (ILC) throughout the state of Nebraska. Additionally, the presenters will discuss recent hot topics in the world of immigration.
  • SNAP Outreach (Health)
    During this presentation, learn more about how SNAP Outreach provides SNAP education to individuals and communities and provides application assistance to eligible Nebraskans. SNAP offers another means of providing meals to individuals and families that struggle with hunger in our community. Discover ways your agency or group can partner with SNAP Outreach to provide access to food assistance to the farmworkers and families in your community. The SNAP Outreach Program in Nebraska is a cooperative effort through Food Bank of Lincoln and Food Bank for the Heartland (Omaha) and the Iowa Food Bank Association.
  • Agricultural Trends in Nebraska (Employment)
    Come and learn more about Nebraska Agriculture Industries and the agriculture trends related to these specific industries. Included will be glimpses into the following- Poultry, Pork, Fruits and Vegetables, Dairies, Meat Processing and Labor. Nebraska has many promising increases in many ag sectors and challenges facing others. Come and learn how they are all interconnected.

11:15 – 12:15 . . . . . WORKSHOP SESSION #2

  •  EL Basics (Education)
    Participants will identify the five stages of language acquisition, increase understanding of effective instructional EL strategies, and Increase their understanding of the correlation of effective practices and student achievement.
  •  Helping Undocumented Students (Legal)
    This presentation will cover information for undocumented individuals who want to attend college. It will give a brief overview of how one’s immigration status affects them in different situations, including how they can pay for college. Additionally, the presenters will include information on how someone can be an ally and assist these students.
  •   Saturday Program to Empower Migrant Families (Education)
    Migrant families present unique challenges when planning and implementing family literacy programming. At Lincoln Public Schools, we worked with migrant families to determine their specific needs to develop a modified family literacy program on Saturdays that is tailored to their interests. This session will demonstrate how we planned and implemented the program, and what results we are showing within the first year.
  • Farm Safety: Protecting Farmworkers and Their Families from Worksite Hazards (Health)
    This workshop will highlight the main worksite hazards for farmworkers and their families. Injury prevention methods and resources for educating farmworkers and their families will also be presented.

12:20 – 1:50 . . . . . LUNCHEON & NDOL Needs Assessment Activity 

Nebraska Department of Labor Needs Assessment
This group activity is an opportunity for conference participants to weigh in on what migrant and seasonal farmworkers in our state truly need, in terms of health, education, legal, and employment needs. Your input will be incorporated into the Agricultural Outreach Plan, located in Nebraska Workforce Development System’s Combined Plan for 2020-2024 and help shape the direction of Nebraska Department of Labor’s agricultural employer and farmworker outreach for the next four years. Your participation and ideas are invaluable to this process!
Compiled Notes from Needs Assessment Activity

Andrea Curtis, Program Coordinator, Nebraska Department of Labor

2:00 – 3:00 . . . . . WORKSHOP SESSION #3

  • Sexual Harassment in the Field (Legal)
    This session will describe the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission, what that agency does, and briefly how the NEOC conducts investigations of discrimination in employment.  Discussion will then move to tips on how to properly watch for sexual harassment of employees, types of sexual harassment, and generally what to do to properly address reports of harassment so your business does not violate state law.
  •  Our Journey to Meeting the Needs of 3-5 Year Olds (Education)
    Parents are their children’s first and most influential teachers and with this School Readiness Program, we want to help parents provide the foundations for their child’s success in school and life. We strive that our migrant preschool students and their families be emotionally and cognitively ready for school.  Through a series of home visits, the PK-5 Migrant Education Facilitator and Migrant Community Liaison provide parents/guardians with the necessary tools to prepare their children with the basic skills needed for kindergarten. During this presentation, we will share our journey, guiding documents, data collection and analysis, and lessons learned.
  •  Medicaid Enrollment (Health)
    This presentation will cover the basics of the Nebraska Medicaid program, including enrollment figures, eligibility guidelines, and services covered.  Additionally, this presentation will summarize the Medicaid application process.
  • Services Provided to High School Students (Education)
    We have worked in conjunction with the public schools over the last couple of years to increase services to high school students through Jr./Sr. night, essay writing events, one-on-one tutoring, grade monitoring, home visits, summer school, and credit recovery.

3:05 – 4:05 . . . . . WORKSHOP SESSION #4

  • Free Educational Resources for Migrant Education Programs (Education)
    Wouldn’t it be nice if there were free, standards-based math, reading, and writing resources to use with K-12 students? Guess what? There is! Attend this session to learn how to access these resources and more (including Out of School Youth)! I will walk you through signing up with web-based services, which was created to help migrant education programs across the country, plus a resource the Nebraska Department of Education subscribes to for educators in the whole state: TransACT Parent Notices. Bring your laptop!
  • Ever Changing Hats the Recruiter Must Wear!! (Education)
    What type of work do you think qualifies workers for the Migrant Education Program in Western Nebraska & what makes us different than other parts of the state? We will walk you through what qualifies and what doesn’t qualify in Western Nebraska and show you the many hats we have to wear and how it changes and how we approach each industry. We will provide tips and tricks when approaching employers in ranching, Feedlots (H2A workers), meat packing plants, and Western Sugar Coop.
  • Employment Services in Nebraska (Employment)
    This presentation highlights the employment services offered at local job centers across the state.
  • Funding for Educational and Occupational Training (Employment)
    This presentation will describe resources that are available for education or occupational training.

4:05 -5:00 . . . . . NETWORKING SOCIAL

8:30 – 8:45 . . . . . WELCOME

8:45 – 10:00 . . . . . KEYNOTE

Labor Trafficking in Nebraska: Defining, Detecting and Responding to this Threat
Could it be that today, right here in 2019 Nebraska, slavery exists in any form?!  Glen Parks, coordinator of the statewide human trafficking task force, will outline the federal and state laws against forced labor, otherwise called labor trafficking.  He will explain the dynamics that lead to it and how migrant workers are especially vulnerable.  He will equip you to identify signs of labor trafficking and explain what happens after a tip is reported.

         Glen Parks, Assistant Attorney General, Coordinator of the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force

10:10 -11:25 . . . . . PANEL SESSION

  • STEM Opportunities for Migrant Students (Education)
    Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math programming is an effective and engaging way to make these academic subjects accessible to students.  The Omaha Migrant Program is piloting a STEM Camp this Spring Break about life science entitled “Survival Island.”  The students will create their own ecosystem and learn about other ecosystems in our area through field trips. The camp will utilize hands-on, EL-friendly methods to teach grade-level science standards while incorporating the Growth Mindset.  ESU 1 and ESU 7 utilize Robotics Clubs through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Office and First Lego League to involve a diverse group of students in real-world problem solving while developing academic skills.

  • Career Exploration for Migrant Students and Families (Employment)
    During this panel, learn about career exploration activities undertaken by migrant and seasonal farmworker serving partners, and walk away inspired to partner to create more career exploration opportunities for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families
  • Community, Connection, Coordination in Identifying and Recruiting Out of School Youth (Education)
    Community, Connection, Coordination is key in developing and implementing an ID&R plan.  Join us to review a working ID&R plan that includes coordination within the community.
  •  Employer Perspectives: H-2A Foreign Labor and Farm Labor Contractors (Employment)
    An open forum among a panel of Nebraska agricultural employers and farm labor contractors to discuss their experiences with and advantages, successes and challenges of using the federal H-2A visa program to recruit non-immigrant or guest workers who come to the US for temporary or seasonal employment.

11:30 – 12:10 . . . . . LUNCH


A Hmong family who fled Communist bullets and wild tigers through the jungle of Laos to a refugee camp in Thailand. A Sudanese man who was thrown into prison in Ethiopia for helping the Lost Boys and left gasping for air through a crack under the door. A Mexican woman who taught herself English by looking up the profane words that were hurled at her during her first job while working in a meat packing plant. A Dutch boy who put the flag of the Netherlands through the paper shredder and declared, “I am an American.” These are some of the characters brought to life in Vang, a drama about recent immigrant farmers. Vang (meaning “garden” or “farm” in Hmong) captures the immigrants’ journeys to the U.S. and how they have made farming a sustainable way of life in America.

Vang is performed by actors Lindsay Bauer and Jordan Dornbierer, written by Iowa Poet Laureate Mary Swander, and features photographs by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer, Dennis Chamberlain.

1:40 – 2:40 . . . . . WORKSHOP SESSION #5

2:45 – 3:45 . . . . . WORKSHOP SESSION #6

  • Utilizing the NePAT & Early Childhood in MEP (Education)
    In this presentation, we will provide a brief explanation of the NePAT assessment, develop a “FAQ” of common questions asked, and explain how the assessment is utilized in our projects. In addition, Omaha will list some resources we utilize in our family literacy program in order to meet the MPO on the NePAt. Both projects will discuss how they utilize the NePAT and the areas of Early Childhood.

  • H-2A Visa System (Legal)
    The H-2A Visa program has been growing exponentially around the country, and in Nebraska. We will discuss the basics of the programs and what rights the US workers and non-US workers have.
  • Employment Services (ES) & Employment – Related Law Complaint System (Employment)
    An explanation of the federally mandated Monitor Advocate Complaint System that addresses farmworker complaints of violations of employment-related laws and Employment Services (ES) regulations. How the System handles formal complaints and Apparent Violations.

  • Trauma and Mental Health Among Latina/o Youth (Health)
    The presentation will discuss common forms of traumatic and other stressful events experienced by Latina/o children and adolescents.  The presentation will also address how mental health symptoms often appear after youth experience these kinds of events and considerations for working with youth from these backgrounds.

3:50 – 4:30 . . . . . CLOSING SESSION: Partnership Next Steps

8:30-12:00 . . . . . ***Available for organizational/workgroup meetings.  Check with your organization for specific start/end times.

  • Nebraska Department of Labor: Agricultural Recruitment System
  • Nebraska Migrant Education Program
Updated April 15, 2021 8:51am