Farmworker Appreciation Day is celebrated on August 6 annually. This day aims to raise awareness about the importance of the work that people do on the farm. The truth is that farmworkers work even under the hot summer sun to bring in the harvest.
Every year, you can see them as you are driving by the fields. Most of their work only happens during summer, and this means that many of these individuals return to their home country when the season is over. Farmworkers are usually forgotten and this day is special to honor and thank them for all they have done.
History of Farmworker Appreciation Day
In the colonial era, most farmworkers were indentured servants from Great Britain. They were white men and women, and even children, who exchanged four to seven years of hard labor for passage to the colonies. Some of these workers were recruited through force and were kept and sold as property, with few rights. They lived in miserable conditions of servitude and abuse.
By the 1600s, indentured servants weren’t plentiful enough, so plantation owners turned to an even crueler method of workforce recruitment: the forceable capture of Africans to be converted into slaves. These slaves had almost no promise of eventual freedom as no fixed period of enslavement was arranged. African slaves became the primary source of farm labor in the colonies over the next two centuries. By the end of the American Revolution, 20% of the population in the 13 colonies was of African descent, the majority of whom were slaves. In 1808, Congress banned the international slave trade, but not the practice of slavery itself.
California became a major agricultural center after the Civil War in the United States. In the aforementioned state, farm labor was mostly imported from Asia. The immigrant labor force had begun to shift to Mexico by the 1930s. During World War II, due to a labor shortage, the Bracero Program was initiated. This program allowed Mexicans to work temporarily on U.S. farms. It ended in 1964, although Latin American legal and illegal immigrants continue to make up the vast majority of the U.S. agricultural workforce.
Farmworker Appreciation Day timeline
A letter is written by Richard Frethorne in which he describes the miserable conditions of his servitude as a farmworker.
The U.S. Congress bans the international slave trade, though not the practice of slavery itself.
The U.F.W. originates from the merger of two workers' rights organizations, the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (A.W.O.C.), and the National Farm Workers Association (N.F.W.A.).
The U.F.W. is accepted into the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, the largest federation of unions in the United States, which consists of 56 national and international unions.
Farmworker Appreciation Day FAQs
Is working on a farm healthy?
Be careful because working on a farm is not as healthy as it seems: some pains can lead to serious traumas.
What are workers on a ranch called?
The people who are employees on a ranch are called several terms, including cowhand, ranchhand, and cowboy.
What is a farm owner called?
In most developed economies, a farmer is usually a farm owner, while employees of the farm are known as farmworkers or farmhands.
Farmworker Appreciation Day Activities
This day may be a special opportunity to know what farmworkers do in the field. You can visit them to get to know their work better.
This day was created to thank farmworkers. Therefore, do not miss the opportunity to show your appreciation for all the hard work that they do.
Raise awareness on social media
Prepare a post talking about the importance of farmworkers and post it on social media. Farmworkers face numerous problems every year and people should be aware of their hardships.
5 Tasks That Farmworkers Do
Step one of their job is planting seeds and, sometimes, transplanting seedlings by hand.
This may be step two since some plants require some kind of fertilization for them to grow.
They also clear and maintain irrigation ditches.
They harvest crops
They harvest fruits and vegetables, most of the time, by hand.
They operate farm machinery
They operate tractors, self-propelled machinery to plow, and tractor-drawn machinery.
Why We Love Farmworker Appreciation Day
Farmworkers are important
The agricultural sector and farmworkers are essential for the progress and development of the country. They supply food, contribute to the national income, and provide employment to a high percentage of society.
It is a day to remember the past
Farmworkers lived in miserable conditions of servitude and abuse. Therefore, this day is an opportunity to remember the importance of having their rights recognized by the government.
Farmworkers provide us with food
They are essential to us since they have one of the most important roles in society: providing food. They are in charge of taking care of crops and harvesting them so that they can be ready to be on our tables.
Farmworker Appreciation Day dates