2nd Place HS: Farm Workers: The Unsung Heroes of Georgia

Nikita Shetty, Houston County High School (Warner Robins, GA)

March 30, 2018

Cesar Chavez Essay Contest

Farm Workers: The Unsung Heroes of Georgia

Agriculture- the Latin root of this term is “cult”, which simply means to grow. This meager four-letter word somehow manages to capture the essence of Georgia. This is a state that is always thriving, both economically and socially. Farming makes up a vast amount of culture in Georgia, and quite evidently, is the “root” of our society.  

Many don’t realize the widespread effects of farmers. It goes without saying that our state is made up of a large portion of rural areas, and farming often serves as the source of their livelihood.  The high contributions it makes towards the annual GDP offers a higher standard of living and various opportunities for trade. These workers indeed cultivate crops, but they reap a copious amount of other benefits as well.

Farm workers are the epitome of effort. Their strenuous work and long hours surely take a toll on them, but they continue to do what they do with a smile on their face. The role of farmers is vital in the United States, but on the contrary, is one of the least appreciated occupations. Ironically, laborers work to feed millions of people every day, yet struggle to feed their own families. Change is essential to bring awareness to the issues farm workers face on the daily.

As one of the most prominent examples of this in history, Cesar Chavez served as the catalyst for change. By bringing the plight of farmers to the attention of the public, Chavez began a revolution. The grapes boycott in California was simply the precursor of transformation. His formation of the United Farm Workers Union helped to revitalize the rights of laborers, and it established a ubiquitous new view on farmers.

More attention should be brought to this sector of society. Actions such as targeting federal funds to the more environmentally pressing areas, sponsoring the latest technology that results in higher yield, or even encouraging crop insurance and/or leases can move Georgia one step closer to reform. Integrating these ideas allows for the betterment of both farmers and our nation overall.

If one was asked to imagine the word “Georgia”, a few things would come to mind: the rich brown soil sifting through fingers, the sweet flavor prominent in peaches, the soft fluff of cotton in the mills… and so much more. Our state wouldn’t be what it is without agriculture. Farm workers are simply the ones who work “behind-the-scenes”, typically not getting the credit that they deserve. Serving as the backbone of our country, agriculture plays a crucial role in the overall growth of our state and is necessary to ensure its development.

 

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