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Mary Jo Dudley, MRP ’96, an expert in farmworker issues at Cornell University, talks about how the pandemic has underlined the importance of farmworkers, who are crucial to maintaining the country’s food supply. Farmworkers are essential workers and are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 as they live and work in close quarters, she says.

Dudley is director of the Cornell Farmworker Program and a faculty member in the Department of Global Development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She researches immigrant workers, farmworkers, U.S.-Latin American relations, migration from Latin America to the U.S. and immigrant communities in the U.S.