Farm Workers Day is observed every second Thursday of June to show gratefulness to agricultural workers for their incredibly hard work.

Holidays dedicated to certain professions are excellent opportunities for us to appreciate people who work these jobs. Farm workers labor hard so we would have easier access to fresh produce, whether it's herbs, vegetables, fruits or meat.

The term "farm worker" is actually quite broad. It could pertain to anyone who was hired at a farm for agriculture-related activities or, more specifically, someone who is involved in production such as harvesting. Either way, it's through their efforts that people easily grab their favorite fresh produce at the grocery.

Here are a few reasons why we should celebrate and respect the farm workers. (Courtesy-- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Johns Hopkins Institute of Bioethics along with the University of Colorado)

  1. Farm workers are exposed to all kinds of weather when they work outdoors, and most of them work more than 40 hours per week. They may even work during holidays, early mornings and weekends since drops and animals need "constant care."
  2. Agricultural work can be dangerous. While tractors and other farm machinery can cause injuries to workers, animals can kick, bite or sting them. Farm workers may also be exposed to pesticides.
  3. Farm workers are "essential workers" because the demand for food is "constant."
  4. With climate change resulting in rising temperatures, heatwaves and wildfires, farm workers are at risk of developing heat and smoke-related illnesses.
  5. A third of farm workers in the U.S. live below the poverty level, and less than half get "sufficient" paid leave. As such, many of them go to work even if they're ill or the weather conditions are unfavorable.
  6. Many farm workers perform numerous duties. For instance, farm and ranch animal workers care for, feed, herd, keep records and even administer vaccinations and medications to the animals.
  7. They are also at risk amid the pandemic because of their daily exposure to people since farm worker communities don't have room for social distancing.
  8. Despite their hard work, many farm workers don't have access to healthcare. Only about 35% report having health insurance, while the vast majority are still uninsured.

On this Farm workers day, support charities that help them or visit a farm and buy fresh produce from them directly.

Farm Worker
Representative image. Cesar Augusto Ramirez Vallejo/Pixabay