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Proteus, Inc. acknowledges the hard work of all essential workers on the front lines at all times, but especially throughout the pandemic.

Cover image: Young daughter of a farmworking family in Indiana poses with her new face masks after attending a health and safety training session with her family. Inside cover image: Four farmworkers out on an Indiana field as they kick-off the work day Photos taken by Jesusa Rivera


2020 Year in Review

OUR MISSION Proteus provides agricultural workers and their families with affordable health care, education assistance, and job training.

OUR VISION A better life for farmworkers.

CONTENTS Message from the CEO


Where we serve


Face masks for farmworkers


Agricultural Health Program • Telehealth & mobile clinics • COVID-19 Response

08 10

Health & safety training


Immigrant Community Support Fund 13 National Farmworker Jobs Program


I’m Thankful for Farmworkers event


Holiday events


2020 Year in Review


MESSAGE FROM THE CEO 2020 may have come with personal and professional challenges with COVID-19, but I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish at Proteus, Inc. Our team has transformed to meet the needs of agricultural workers in a proactive and meaningful way. From transitioning to telehealth services, providing access to COVID-19 testing and follow-up care, launching the Immigrant Community Support Fund with several partners, training farmworkers on necessary health and safety topics, and helping farmworkers reach their career goals. We could not have done all this amazing work without our board of directors’ support, collaboration with other organizations and businesses, funding from our grantors and donors, and encouragement from our supporters. Through all of this, agricultural workers have continued to show up to work. We are forever grateful for everything farmworkers do to bring food to our tables. In 2021, we will continue to be there for agricultural workers and their families. We look forward to having you along the journey with us. Thank you for your support, trust, and confidence in Proteus. With gratitude,

Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel, EdD CEO

Our Board of Directors Melissa Garcia Rebecca Prescott Amy Beller Erik Dominguez Hijinio Carreon, DO Jessica Taylor Joe Gonzalez Kristin Hoffman Michelle Mackel-Wiederanders John Van Ginkel Rebecca Kubacki Gloria Vermie Juan Ayala-Roman Our Leadership Team Chief Executive Officer Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel Chief Financial Officer Carla Beste HR/Payroll Coordinator Leydy Mendoza Clinical Director Caroline Johnson Director of Workforce Programs Johnny Alcivar Agricultural Health Program Director Lacey Naaktgeboren Trygstad Marketing & Communications Coordinator Josefina Lopez Valdivia Des Moines, IA Regional Director Laura Barnett Fort Dodge, IA Regional Director Matt Winkel Iowa City, IA Regional Director Patrick Taggart Indiana Regional Director Randall Collins


2020 Year in Review

Nebraska Regional Director Jody Stutzman

WHERE WE SERVE IOWA • Agricultural Health Program • Health & safety training • Housing education • Food pantry • Immigrant Community Support Fund • National Farmworker Jobs Program

INDIANA • Health & safety training • Housing education • National Farmworker Jobs Program

NEBRASKA • Health & safety training • Housing education • National Farmworker Jobs Program 2020 Year in Review


Indiana Case Manager; Jesusa Rivera hands out face masks to farmworkers in Indiana

FACE MASKS FOR FARMWORKERS As a pandemic was making its way across the world, the demand for face masks was at an all-time high. With supply being lower than the demand, many took up sewing to provide handmade masks. For many essential workers that didn’t have the opportunity to transition their work to remote, face masks were an even bigger necessity.

Farmworker in Nebraska masks up before starting the workday


2020 Year in Review

Proteus teams across Iowa, Indiana, and Nebraska started a campaign called Face Masks for Farmworkers. Calling on the community to show up and donate masks. While certain requirements were detailed in the request, Proteus was accepting handmade and purchased masks.

Donated face masks are laid out before distribution

15,000+ face masks were collected for farmworkers

Farmworkers in Nebraska attending a health & safety training while wearing donated face masks

Farmworker in Iowa poses suited up with a face mask, long sleeve shirt, and bug shield.

2020 Year in Review


AGRICULTURAL HEALTH PROGRAM: TELEHEALTH & MOBILE CLINICS Iowa is home to thousands of agricultural workers who work there seasonally or live there year-round. Many of these individuals rely on Proteus for their health care needs. Soon after the number of positive COVID-19 cases started increasing in Iowa, the Proteus team adapted services in order to not disrupt farmworker access to health care.

Health Aide in Des Moines, IA takes patie during a hybrid clinic model

With permission of the federal government, the Proteus health team quickly transitioned from in-person visits to a hybrid format of telehealth and mobile clinics across the state of Iowa. “Telehealth is the provision of healthcare remotely utilizing telecommunications technology.� COVID-19 posed a challenge in how everyday clinic visits were managed, but the health team communicated with their patients to see how they could best serve them to meet and exceed needs while following appropriate precautions.

528 Telehealth encounters in 2020

Health staff in Iowa administer COVID-19 outdoors on a sunny summer day


Unique patients in 2020

Program Specialist; Carlyn Haas inputs patient inoormation before refilling medic


2020 Year in Review

1,436 Patients were served in a language other than English

ent vitals

9 tests


1,085 Patients are at or below 100% Federal Poverty Level

Outdoor clinic in Conesville, IA. Naomi Marroquin (Health Care Manager) works triage before connecting patients with Clinical Director; Caroline Johnson Photo taken by Caroline Johnson

2020 Year in Review


AGRICULTURAL HEALTH PROGRAM: COVID-19 RESPONSE As a community health care center for farmworkers and their families, the agricultural health program at Proteus had a duty to quickly adapt to continue to provide everyday healthcare. Saving lives had never been more at the forefront than with a virus foraging across the world. A COVID-19 response had to be created and implemented quickly as these essential workers never left the fields. From partnerships across the state of Iowa to relationships with employers, Proteus was not alone in this mission. Proteus proactively worked with agricultural employers, crew leaders, and state partners to strategically plan for testing and protecting farmworkers. Over 2,000 COVID-19 tests have been performed and more continue to be scheduled at this time.

Part of the Proteus Agricultural Health team poses for

Beyond testing, the health care teams continuously innovated new ways of taking care of their patients. Follow-up care was perhaps even more important than the test itself. Making sure test results were communicated back promptly to reduce exposure and providing isolated housing for those that tested positive, are just some of the many medical best practices and services that this team deployed to save the lives of many that kept the world running. The Proteus COVID-19 testing, mitigation, and followup care model caught the attention of the CDC who requested the process be written into a best practice for them to share with others across the country.

10 2020 Year in Review

Health staff administering COVID-19 tests in a drive-thru model during a mobile clinic

2,000+ Farmworkers received COVID-19 testing a picture after a long day of outdoor COVID-19 testing in Iowa

Health staff member administering COVID-19 test outdoors

Health Care Manager; Chelsi Barraza coordinating a mobile clinic in Iowa

2020 Year in Review



3,465 Farmworkers trained in Iowa (2020)

2,123 Farmworkers trained in Indiana (2020)

1,783 Proteus staff are trained by the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) and provided with material to facilitate training in the following areas: Worker Protection Standard (WPS), Chemical Hazard Communication (CHC), Heat Stress Prevention (HSP), Limiting Exposure around Families (LEAF), and Pesticide exposure and Pregnancy.

12 2020 Year in Review

Farmworkers trained in Nebraska (2020)

Indiana farmworker working on a radish field Image taken by Jesusa Rivera

IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY SUPPORT FUND Originally known as the Central Iowa Immigrant Community Fund. An initiative of the American Friends Service Committee Iowa, Al Exito, and Proteus, Inc. The fund was set up to meet the needs of Iowans who did not qualify for governmental assistance during the global pandemic. The fund assists community members facing significant challenges due to loss of income, illness, or other COVID-19 related impacts The assistance covered basic needs including rent, mortgage, utilities, transportation, and medicine for individuals and their families during 2020. --------------------------------An anonymous donor approached the group to provide $750,000 to farmworker and meat processing families across Iowa.

Thanks to additional partnerships in Indiana and Nebraska, Proteus was able to connect Immigrant families in need of financial support.

$252,900 Total funds dispersed under the Central Iowa Immigrant Community fund

1,577 Iowans served

In total over $1 million of financial support has been distributed to families.


As the initiative became available statewide, the fund name transitioned to the Iowa Immigrant Community Fund. 6 additional partner organizations came on board to assist with fund distribution; La Luz Centro Cultural, Center for Worker Justice, Centro Latino, Northeast Iowa Peace and Justice Center, Catholic Charities- Dubuque, and Iowa Wins.

375 households served

491 applications funded

2,003 Iowans served

Total funds dispersed under the Iowa Immigrant Community fund

2020 Year in Review


NATIONAL FARMWORKER JOBS PROGRAM What is your idea of success? For NFJP client Kinberlyn Benitez Aguilar, her success is on-going because she continues to overcome the trials set before her. She and her sister, Diana Benitez Aguilar are both DACA students and qualified to be part of the Proteus Inc. family by their farm work experience. Both are obtaining degrees in Construction Technology from Mid-Plains Community College in Nebraska. Being a woman studying an occupation mostly dominated by men has helped Kinberlyn find her Kinberlyn Benitez Aguilar voice and be confident in her knowledge. When asked what has helped Kinberlyn overcome some of her barriers, she stated that having a support system within her family, determination, and the help of those involved with her case at Proteus have all assisted her in reaching her college goals. But more than that, she now has an opportunity to have a high demand/high wage career with potential for growth. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Kinberlyn’s family was like so many other families; in need of help, empathy, and direction. Due to the pandemic, Kinberlyn’s work hours were not enough to enable her to continue paying her bills but because she participated in the NFJP program through Proteus Inc., Kinberlyn’s family was able to receive some financial help to keep them going. That help could not have gone to a more thankful family. Kinberlyn is currently taking her last required class before receiving her degree. Her goals are big and there is no doubt that she will certainly achieve whatever successes she sets her mind to.

14 2020 Year in Review


Farmworker families in Iowa, Indiana, and Nebraska benefited from education assistance and job training. (2020)

$30,919 Median earnings for a National Farmworker Jobs Program participant

Farmworkers on a cucumber field in Indiana Photo taken by Jesusa Rivera

2020 Year in Review


I’M THANKFUL FOR FARMWORKERS EVENT Proteus celebrated its 41st anniversary on November 5th through an event; I’m Thankful for Farmworkers: Virtual Celebration. This was the second year that Proteus hosted a fundraising event of this sort, while adapting to necessary changes as the COVID-19 pandemic continued. The event included musical guest “Guitarras ATM”, Farmworker and Ally of the Year awards, a silent auction, and many more recognitions.

Proteus, CEO- Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel on set of the LIVE virtual event.

The event raised a total of $63,800 to support the Proteus mission in serving farmworkers and their families. Thank you to Proteus donors and sponsors!

$63,800 RAISED FOR FARMWORKERS Allies of the Year: Al Exito and AFSC Iowa Al Exito and AFSC-Iowa have been partnering with Proteus on an Immigrant Community Support Fund since early spring 2020. Both of these organizations provide necessary services to immigrant families in Iowa. Through this partnership, we have collectively raised over $1 million in funding to provide immigrant families with financial assistance. Al Exito and AFSC-Iowa have truly stepped up in the middle of COVID-19 to advocate, support, and provide essential services to families. We are grateful for their collaboration and look forward to continuing this partnership after the pandemic as well.

16 2020 Year in Review

Iowa Farmworker of the Year: Martha Mendoza Mendez Martha has worked as a farmworker with her husband, Miguel Angel, in Iowa since 1984. They have four children who they helped achieve their dreams. Their children are now a business owner, award-winning teacher, an analyst for an insurance company, and a Marine. These successes are a testament to Martha and Miguel’s dedication and hard work. Proteus has been fortunate to be connected to Martha and her family through their work. This past year, Martha has graciously shared her story and voice to raise awareness about farmworkers. She’s been featured in newsprint, interviewed for television, and shared her story to help with promoting services Proteus provides to farmworkers.

Nebraska Farmworker of the Year: Tyler Campbell Tyler was a very responsible individual in all aspects during his education and his engagement with Proteus. Throughout his educational journey, Tyler had an accident where he broke one of his legs. He had to have several surgeries, but not even the adversity stopped him from pursuing his desired goal of graduating from Central Community College in Columbus NE with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Agricultural Sciences Agri-Business.

Indiana Farmworker of the Year: Pablo Bueno Jr. Pablo came into the Proteus Program in 2017. He had one sofa in his home at the time of the intake. That’s it. Pablo would travel from Texas, Indiana, Michigan, and Florida as a migrant farmworker. He studied Business at Ivy Tech and then opened his own business. Since he opened, he has hired several more employees plus starting his 2nd business. He has the drive and has a passion to give back to other farm working families. Some of the ways he has given back include; - Sponsoring a toy drive specifically for farm working families - Donating items for farm working families - Always volunteering in all and any Proteus event He truly has not forgotten where he came from and is always willing to assist. Farmworkers on a kale field in Indiana Photo taken by Jesusa Rivera

2020 Year in Review



Toys-For-Tots Holiday Celebration (Des Moines, Iowa) On December 10th the Des Moines, Iowa Proteus team helped 74 families including 225 kids celebrate the holiday season.

Family poses with Santa (Joe Gonzalez) and his elf (Carlyn Haas) during the annual Toys-for-Tots event in Des Moines, iA

Each family received toys for the kids, food pantry items, Hy-Vee gift cards of one hundred dollars, and other consumable goods. This event was made possible through sponsorships, partnerships, and donations. Truly a team effort for this joy filled event!

18 2020 Year in Review

Pumpkin pies and frozen turkeys donated from Costco Wholesale WDSM

Packed grocery bags waiting to go home with families

Familiy poses with Santa and his elf after having received their goods from the annual Toys-for-Tots drive-thru event

Boxed up consumable goods ready to go home with Indiana families

Thank a Farmworker this Thanksgiving (South Bend, Indiana) Indiana Case Manager, Jesusa Rivera along with 12 volunteers collaborated to provide healthier food for farmworkers over Thanksgiving. Food that would provide more nutrients than the typical snack and canned items near expiration dates that are usually provided. Volunteers loading family cars with donated consumable goods

A partnership with Purdue University and the Starke County Chamber of Commerce lead to 100 boxes of farm to table fresh fruits and vegetables along with milk, cheese, and chicken. Cars lined up in the parking lot for contactless pick-up in order to follow COVID-19 precautions.

Young girl smiling while thanksgiving goods are being loaded up in her mothers car

2020 Year in Review


GET INVOLVED Be a part of creating a better life for farmworkers. proteusinc.net Subscribe to our quarterly e-newsletter to stay up to date. Donate to support our work with and for farmworkers. Connect with us on social media:

CONTACT US Proteus, Inc. Des Moines, IA 1221 Center Street Suite 16 50309 Phone: (515) 271-5306 (800) 372-6031 Fax (515) 271-5309

Farmworkers on a cucumber field in Indiana Photo taken by Jesusa Rivera

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