Hey, remember how God made a farmer?  This week it’s time to pay some respect to the folks who actually do most of that farming work.

Caglefarmworkergraph - header
The vast majority of our stateside fruits and vegetables are handpicked by more than 3 million migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Without those farmworkers, we’d be very hungry. But as a whole those workers are treated like hell: They’re underpaid, underinsured, and undereducated. About half of them are undocumented, and only about a third are U.S. citizens. These workers bear the brunt of our food system with their bodies, but only California requires that they get water and bathroom breaks. On average, one farmworker dies on the job every day in the U.S., and laborers can be as young as 12 — legally.


Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.




Data from reports by the National Center for Farmworker Health, Center for Progressive Reform, and the Kresge Foundation.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.