I am really overjoyed to learn that farmworkers have finally gotten one more step toward justice in the workforce of California. Contrary to what Assemblyman Devon Mathis would have us believe, California agriculture is in good shape and thriving.
Take a drive out into the country and admire the palatial homes on most of the larger ranches. Many of the larger corporate agribusiness owners do not even live on their farms. I have had occasion to visit the homes of farmworkers, and they are mostly small, modest homes. If they happen to be illegal, they might be living with eight or more roommates in order to pay the rent on a two-bedroom apartment.
I was raised on farms around Fresno County and have done most kinds of farm work. To make a living, you must be strong, smart, agile and humble. You need to be tough to battle bees, wasps, spiders and pesticides and have a thick skin to put up being treated as an inferior being.
Anyone who cares to read more about this fight for justice can read “Beasts Of The Field: A Narrative History Of California Farmworkers 1769-1913.”
Bernice Requenez, Fresno