The agriculture system in our country is one of the industries with the fewest regulations and restrictions. It is an industry that has been surviving off of the exploitation and abuse of countless workers all across the country. The workers in the agriculture industry have to deal with some of the harshest, least forgiving working conditions in the country, and the worst part is that a large percentage of the workers are children. Farmers tend to hire families, many of which are hispanic or latino families, because they can use the work, and if you are undocumented, no one really bothers you on a farm in the middle of nowhere.
Many children on these farms begin working as early as the age of 12, and they often work 10 hour days, six, or seven days a week. Furthermore, there are serious negative health effects that come from the pesticides that are all over the farms. Many of the workers have permanent damage done to their bodies before the age of 20. Legislation is currently being put in place to stop this unjust treatment, but try to be aware of where your food is coming from. Many markets pride themselves on the fact that they know exactly where their food is coming from because they know the workers there are treated fairly, try to incorporate markets such as this to help put an end to this unethical system.
This post reflects the views and opinions of our student volunteer, Casey Begoon.