Without them, everything ceases to exist.

The people who put food on our table don’t get to work from home.

As the majority of Americans “shelter in place,” farmworkers head out to the fields, rain or shine, for 12 hour days, making sure we can restock our grocery shelves and put food on the table.

Like healthcare and grocery store workers, the United States’ 2.5 million farmworkers, most of them Mexican, many of them undocumented, have been designated “essential workers.”

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93 Responses

  1. Juan Galvan

    The Farm Labor force has been imported to work the seasonal food of the field since WWI. No benefits. No sick pay, No vacations and then sent home with-“No Thank You’s”.

      • Eva

        Not even close, unless you work 12+ hours hunched over and often in extreme weather.

      • Patricia Burns

        I’ve often seen hairdressers out slaving away in the hot grueling sun cutting hair and lifting heavy cans of hair spray! Are you serious???

      • Sandra Mitchell

        I was a hairdresser..before that I worked the field jobs just like these workers..Hairdresser in no way compares to this hard work..not one bit!

      • Catol

        We don’t need hairdressers to survive but we need food to survive, get the distinction?

      • Carol

        We don’t need hairstyles to survive but we need food to stay alive, get the distinction

      • Robert

        Anytime you want to work the fields, be my guest. You haven’t got a clue of what it takes and what you go though as a migrant farmer in this country. And by the way, you get paid better as a hair stylist in an temperature controlled environment plus tips without bending over for 12 hours. What nerve you have!

      • Lori

        Not at all. They do hard physical labor, in inclement weather… hair dressers work indoors, with a roof, a restroom, AC, and heat.

      • Minerva

        This is an insult! They don’t get to work in air conditioned comfort, receiving tips and exchanging pleasantries with the customers.

      • Carmen

        Do you work 12 hour days in the fields through horrendous heat or rain? They’re hard work puts food on your table. Without them you would starve. Your comment is insensitive at the very least.

      • S. E. Sanner

        No, farmer laborers are not protected from weather, insects, herbicides and pesticides. They don’t have a coffee pot, nor indoor toilets, nor hand-washing facilities a few feet from them. They aren’t standing on even floors and don’t have the opportunity to work standing erect. I realize hairdressers’ work includes physical strain and exposure to sprays et al, but to compare the work and living conditions of farmer laborers to hairdressers is to miss reality in full. Cesar Chavez died working to improve the conditions of life for farm workers. Who has done so for hairdressers?

      • Bando

        Thats dumb. In no way shape or form is hairdressing essential.

      • Reba

        Not really. Hairdressers can pay into the system if they like and get unemployment benefits, right?

      • Deb

        Not at all. A hairdresser can take a break and gets tips and thank you!!

      • Liz

        All of you whining about her saying “like a hairdresser? “. Have you considered that SHE MAY NEED TO EAT TOO? That she perhaps is talking about the millions of Americans who are being told they are not ALLOWED to work, to provide for their families? Nobody is discounting the hard work and necessity of farmers. I for one, am praying that all of our farmers and ranchers in this country can get back to work and sell their meat rather than “dispose of it”, while we ship in foreign meat. She was saying that hairdressers need to eat too… Just like you. You do realize that the majority of Americans NOT working right now are pissed about it, right? That their small businesses that they’ve poured their lives into are being driven into non existence because they are told they aren’t ALLOWED to work? This article suggests that while we “get to work from home, all the hard working non documented people are putting food on their tables.” That’s a very arrogant and misguided comment. Many MANY people aren’t working from home, because their line of work or their business isn’t allowed to. Most Americans want to be at work, not forced to stay home.

      • Kristina

        Yes, but the conditions hair dressers work under can not compare to the farm workers ,come on. Farm workers have a tough back breaking job and they are outside not in a salon where they are protected from the changing weather conditions. I wouldn’t want to do that job. I appreciate all their hard work to put food in our tables.

    • Juan villafana

      In the 50s we had the worker program.
      They came April to October. We had barracks , sleeping for 40, toilets with stalls for 10, and showers. A manager that prepared 3 meals a day. They brought a tortilla machine from
      Mexico. The manager also made extra tortillas to sell. The men worked piece work they made , about $100 per day, they were told to only work 6 days a week. But they kept working on Sundays. They lived here in California in the 50s on only $50 a week. They enjoyed sending money to their families in Mexico. The families lived very very comfortably there. When the men came back the fallowing year the brought us gifts from the families. Then when Ceaser Chavez came in the 60s all that changed. We lost those great days forever.

      • Suzanne Gerard

        Juan, just for a comparison for your readers. i am a retired registered nurse. In 1959, I worked in a research lab for a major university. I earned $1.98 per hour. Not quite $16.00 per day.
        I am so sorry you had a good thing going here and it was all stolen from you by a communist radical!

      • Cindy

        Wow what a pretty fairy tale, my mother marched with Cesar Chavez, he fought to improve the lives of the farm workers. The way they were treated was not acceptable. My parents took us to work a weekend in the field so we would know what it was like. It was hard working under the sun, all day long, every body part hurt. I’m sure your experience was different then theirs.

    • Brenda Whitaker

      Not fair ! Numerous other jobs are like that
      We should keep in mind that we need food to thrive and survive.

    • Lelah

      Some farms provide decent housing and pay for farm workers, mist do not.

    • Joyce Wallace

      This is Heartless,No respect,No Care. These individual. The Great I Am are inhuman and treat peoples with no dignity. This right here I litteraly dislike this. No respect. NONE

    • Coral Sellan

      Lo siento mucho Juan! Gracias por todo tu ayuda!!! I LOVE Mexico and it’s people. Thank you soooo much for all you do!!! I wish you and your loved ones all the best! God bless you! Cuídate mucho! Coral.

    • Maria

      Thank you would love to talk to one if possible get an address to hel may not have much but I’d love to help.

    • June jones

      I admire the people who work the fields and provide food for our tables.

    • eva

      How Iknow that for fact, growing up in a family of migrant workers in CA.

    • Ricardo

      Thank u for all y’all do to keep putting food on our tables I appreciate everything y’all doing everyone should appreciate for what y’all doing everyday God bless y’all.

    • Ken

      Yes but make 10 times the money in their country. We don’t make them poor, it’s their choice of how their country is run. This is why they come here to work.

      • Henry

        Really it’s not their choice to live in poverty. You know it’s the will of the powerful & rich who make the rules how the are allowed to live. You must be blind to not see this or just to racist yo see it any other way!

      • Joe Barron

        Wow…everything you said…was wrong. Impressive.

        Is there a Sociologist, a Criminologist, a Historian besides myself, an Economist who is well versed in Developing Countries and dysfunctional barriers to that inhibit that development, and of course, someone of privilege who can lecture Ken on how absolutely stupid his answer is, especially since it’s an assumption on the notion of whether or not people have access to the banking systems in the countries, you know the central mechanism that allows for the distribution and accumulation of financial capital. Oh, we also need someone who is well versed in push\pull factors in human migration factors. I could structure a dialectic for Ken, but it would end along the lines of, please have someone proof your work before publishing again.

    • Maria

      Thank You All SO MUCH! For All your hard work day after day after day. We need you desperately! May God watch over Every One of You & your Family. May God Protect you daily from any sickness or disease. I pray this IN THE MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS
      ! THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES. Amen. Thank You Heavenly Father for Your Grace.

    • Nan

      Cesar Chavez has saved the farm worker from the hell they used to be in… they are Teamsters!!!

  2. Asha

    These workers deserve our love and admiration. Geez! I hope they re receiving bonus pay! Plz tell me they are.

  3. Aamir

    Thank you and May G-d protect you and keep you safe. You all are our unsung heroes!!!

    • First nameJoAnn Last nameFuchs

      The difference is you had a choice as to what career you wanted to do. You also knew what benefits it did and did not include.

    • Felicita Gutierrez

      No way you can compare the hairdressers work to the farm worker’s manual labor. Long hours in extreme weather conditions with very little control on bathroom breaks, coffee breaks etc. Plus we NEED food to eat and survive. You don’t have to get a haircut or a perm in order to survive.

  4. Carmen Colon

    I declare the blood of Jesus over them
    Healing their bodies no weapon formed against them will prosper in Jesus mame.

  5. Lawrence K. Muhammad

    The life of every human being is precious and it not based on wealth or ethnicity. We need learn to respect each other as one human family. Religious leadership need to lead in this fight back to human kindness. Thank you my Mexican brothers and sister. One G-D one human family.L

  6. Mary

    You miss the gifts. Sad. Nothing about their great contribution and/or the friendships. So sorry “NOT”.

    • Mary Toomey

      Well please recognize the hair dresser. She is one in a million. I treat mine well and would wait weeks for her to do my hair. I am in the USA, we have health issues here to say it nicely. I hope it will soon pass.

  7. MandoYz

    It’s a shame we hear many putting the Mexican field workers down. Saying they are stealing our jobs, but they are out in the heat of the day and the pandemic still working so we can have our meals. They can’t go and claim unemployment or say “no I don’t think I’ll go to work today” because they don’t have the privilege we have. I Thank All You field workers

    • Michael

      And even riskier for them, not social distancing and only about half wearing masks.

    • Debbie

      I totally agree and it makes me want to cry….these people break their backs all day long. All they want is a fair income to take care of their families….and yet some people speak poorly and show outright hatred to these hard working people. Someone brought up hairdresser….I am sorry but your job is a cake walk in comparison.
      God bless these people and forgive the ignorant who speak ill of them.

  8. Mary

    Dpes anyoneven worry about them contracting the disease…….safe distancing, hygiene, etc

  9. Eddie Velazquez

    Thank you to the farm workers ,los braceros, without them we as a nation would not survive. Let’s see a white boy do the hard labor they do , they would complain within the hour, so when 45 talks about stealing jobs I challenge him to have his prima Donna family go work with these hard working people. I have spoken . I come from a family of immigrants. Eddie Velazquez MSgt USAF Ret

    • C Smith

      Thank you for your service to our country. God bless the farm worker harvesting the crops.

    • Kathy

      Before the Illegal Mexicans came to work out in the fields their we’re black and white fAmilies primary from the Southern states that worked the fields from Southern CA to Northern CA.The Mexicans came and took the jobs away from them so before you put the white boys down they’re ancestors were doing field work before Ceaser Chavez came along and stole all the farm work.

  10. Nereida Barrera

    I come from a family that was migrant workers , and I was one of them as well, I was born and raised in Idaho the potatoes state, I have alot of respect for those that are out there in the farm fields working hard to survive , I am happy to know that I come from a migrant working family , some families dont know what working hard out there is, if some knew they would appreciate life more

  11. Eva

    Not even close, unless you work 12+ hours hunched over and often in extreme weather. This comment was directed to the woman that compared this type of work to that of a hairdresser–so ignorant!

    • Patricia

      They tried an experiment back in the ’60’s of recruiting college athletes in CA to replace the migrant workers.

      First, the coaches weren’t letting their star athletes go pick fruit instead of practice or go pick fruit! So the program ended up with regular college kids.

      It didn’t work out. Farmworkers are essential workers.

  12. Tom

    Thanks to all the farmworkers who are feeding the rest of us, and to everyone else who is in the food chain up to and including grocery store workers. America so needs a “guest worker” program so that all the folks from south of the border can come over during the season and then return to their homeland as needed. Without them, our food chain completely falls apart. Again, thanks so much!

  13. Pauline Martinez

    I started working in the fields at the age of 11 years old here in Colorado. I worked with my parents from the minute the sun came out till it went down 7 days a week. I worked in the sugar beets with a hoe. Then here comes picking the cucumbers. Planting onions, topping onions. Then sewing the sacks of onions. Then cleaning the weeds from the beets and the corn. I did all this till I was 25 years old. Every summer, hot and rainy days.

  14. Margaret Hearne

    Yes, I agree. A cosmetologist works hard, standing up most of the day, & enhales chemical fumes from hiar dyes, but.. She or He is in an air conditioned or heated building, depending on the season, and most likely works a 5 or 6 day work week,
    probably not even an 8 hour day & has rests & breaks, between the clients. It is Nothing like working in the fields, steadily with the elements & temperatures of Mother nature. No comparison, no comparison what-so-ever. I can’t understand why she would even have the audacity to compare how she makes her living to a migrants way of earning a living! A really dumb comparison!!!

  15. Naim

    Like to.thank them and all hard working people even the men who pick up trash show me a picture of them please

  16. Patti

    Im from the East coast and until I took a road trip to So-Cal last summer I never gave a 2nd thought to migrant farm workers, or any farm workers for that matter. When l saw and realized what they do every day in the blazing heat I realized that we Americans could NOT survive without them. What American would work as hard as they do, under such circumstances and for so little pay? Therefore, a HUGE thank you to all the workers out in the fields. GOD BLESS YOU FOR WHAT YOU DO!!

  17. Janice

    Are these laborers wearing masks as well so they don’t spread their germs to anyone else or on the food? I appreciate their work but doing it safely is the key.

  18. Estella Hughes

    Farm workers!! The hardest days of my life. I started at 6 years old trying to stop a monster of a tractor . Then had to work hoeing, after sun up till sun down, had to do irrigation with no shoes couldn’t see the hook up or the pipeline so we had to court the rows from hooking up and count back to the pipeline the pipes would be so heavy full of dirt and water . The next morning we had to start all over again by going as to move irrigation and then go change into dry clothes so that we would be on the field by the time you could see the first weed work until you couldn’t see the weeds from harvest. Again back to irrigation and on and on and ion . The only day we had off was Sunday my dad would not allow us to work Sundays it was holy. Now I hear a lot off people say why aren’t you prepared for retiring. Well if you are one of twelve children all the money that we made during the time school to make sure we paid the house payments till the next harvest. Just like I read above no sick pay no nothing working irrigation without shoes so we could use the only pair we had on the field. I dislike this way off liveing.

    • Linda

      God Bless you Estella! You are a Tough Angel for helping your family like that. Not many people could endure that and still go on everyday.

  19. Laura

    No, not like a hair dresser. No comparison. We could live without hairdressers. The work in a heated or cooled building, They stay dry. They typically don’t work 60-70 hour weeks in the dirt, wind, rain,mud, brutal heat and sunshine. Living in a farm town all my life and knowing farmers and seeing the laborers work, and getting my hair cut in a salon most of my life makes it very clear there is no comparison.

  20. Ignacio Garza

    I wish we had a president that took notice and show the country why we should appreciate the immigrant workers…it would educate a lot of people..

  21. Linda Arceneaux

    Yes, I offer a HEARTY ”THANK YOU! to the migrant workers!

    But y’all don’t even want my comment on the ORIGINAL “migrant” workers who didnt get a choice to be here or not, didn’t get a dime for their labor, didn’t get to have an intact family to send it to, and, who are STILL waiting for their promised forty acres and a mule…

    It still stings.

  22. RickP

    I have been thinking a lot about these fine people. Mexican people possess the same strength, determination, and other qualities that have always made the United States stronger. I am grateful for their presence in this country.

  23. Matt Danielsen

    These workers all come here willingly they get paid way more than they will get paid in their own country they get true worse in their own country than they do here

  24. Yolanda

    Thank you so much for posting. We have a tendency to forget the little man of the totem pole. They are the most essential for who else would work those hours or those conditions. Thank you gracias! They are due much acknowledgement during this difficult time and should be respected at all time.

  25. Bruce Allen

    Wow. Stereotype much. You make assumption of “white boys” although they may not work in farm fields there are plent of hard back breaking labor that is done by “white boys” you should really rethink your ideology. And we are the racist ones?

  26. David

    Article states that many are undocumented. How do they get work authorization and Social Security number to be able to work? Or are the employers illegally hiring them? Or are those undocumented workers committing fraud by using fake work authorization papers and stolen or fake Social Security numbers?


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