Farmworkers

These are mostly from my 2014 blog The Considerate Omnivore

The Secret Lives of America’s Migrant Farmers
Considering the farmworker
It ain’t just tobacco
500 miles from Immokolee
Handcuffed in defense of farmworker rights
Land of the free? Not for US farmworker according to visiting British MPs
Cultivating farmworker advocates, one student at a time
These vecinos are more than just neighbors
A Chavez for here and now
Father Tony
The lives of child farmworkers in their own pictures and words
The nice camp
Considering the farmworker: What I’ve learned

Farmworker photos

Considering the farmworker: What I’ve learned

I’m a Wall Street technology manager. Two years ago I set out, citizen journalist style, to learn and write about people whose lives are very different from mine: migrant farmworkers. These are the men, women and children who harvest most of the fresh produce you see at America’s grocery stores. I’ll share what I learned … Continue reading Considering the farmworker: What I’ve learned

The Nice Camp

From my 2014 blog The Considerate Omnivore… Last summer I accompanied some college students doing educational and health care outreach at migrant farmworker camps. They were generally dismal places, ill-maintained and no place I’d ever want to spend the night. Except for one. It was mid July. Hot. I’d been traveling all day with Julie … Continue reading The Nice Camp

The lives of child farmworkers in their own pictures and words

From my 2014 blog The Considerate Omnivore… Each year, a little-known contest by a little-known agency in Washington, DC lets children of migrant farmworkers portray their lives in essays and drawings. The annual contest by the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs invites these children to submit essays and artwork for judging by a panel, with … Continue reading The lives of child farmworkers in their own pictures and words

Father Tony

From my 2014 blog The Considerate Omnivore… He’s collected a small mountain of donated toothbrushes and T-shirts but what he really needs are pants: About four thousand pair. Father Jesus Antonio Rojas, known by all as Father Tony, runs the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry in Dunn, North Carolina. From an airy facility about an hour south … Continue reading Father Tony

A Chavez for here and now

From my 2014 blog The Considerate Omnivore… For many migrant farmworkers, things haven’t changed much since the 1970s when the legendary activist Cesar Chavez co-founded, with Dolores Huerta, the union known today as the United Farm Workers. Today in North Carolina and surrounding states, the people working one of the most dangerous jobs in America … Continue reading A Chavez for here and now

The Secret Lives of America’s Migrant Farmers

Published on Narratively on September 3, 2014… An innovative college program opens privileged young eyes to the million undocumented laborers who toil away in an invisible America. Story and photos by Michael Durbin… It’s early June at Camp Chestnut Ridge in Efland, North Carolina. Towering pines outside the dining hall are still dripping after a … Continue reading The Secret Lives of America’s Migrant Farmers

Cultivating farmworker advocates, one student at a time

From my 2014 blog The Considerate Omnivore… Like many farmworker advocates, Melinda Wiggins can rattle off a long list of injustices faced by the people who harvest America’s food — stagnant wages, unsafe working conditions, housing often unfit for human habitation, and one she finds particularly unconscionable: Many farmworkers aren’t allowed visitors in the camps … Continue reading Cultivating farmworker advocates, one student at a time

Land of the free? Not for U.S. farmworkers according to visiting British MPs

From my 2014 blog The Considerate Omnivore… Last night, a 13-year old farmworker spoke to the panel from experience: She’s been working in the fields of North Carolina since the age of 7. Now she just wants to finish high school and go to college, but knows her parents can’t afford it. Another farmworker held … Continue reading Land of the free? Not for U.S. farmworkers according to visiting British MPs

500 miles from Immokalee

From my 2014 blog The Considerate Omnivore… Danny should feel comfortable here and the tomato pickers should see him as one of their own. But he doesn’t, and they don’t. Eighteen-year-old Daniel Guzman is in a labor camp in the South Carolina Lowcountry, some 500 miles away from Immokalee, Florida where he grew up in … Continue reading 500 miles from Immokalee

It ain’t just tobacco

From my 2014 blog The Considerate Omnivore… Thanks to a recent feature on The Daily Show and a slew of media attention (links below) a lot more people are now aware of the problem of children working in U.S. tobacco fields. This attention is a very good thing, but the problem goes way beyond tobacco: … Continue reading It ain’t just tobacco

Considering the farmworker

From my 2014 blog The Considerate Omnivore… Given how corporatized, mechanized and super-sized American food production has become, I wonder how many people know that the harvesting of fruits and vegetables is still done mostly by hand. It is. Much of what you see in the produce aisle was picked by migrant farmworkers. These men, … Continue reading Considering the farmworker