From today’s CBS News:
Friday was Cesar Chavez Day, and thousands across the country remembered all the work he did for farm worker rights — and all the work that still needs to be done.
“After him there is water, there is bathrooms, there is unemployment benefits,” said, Lauro Barajas, general director of the United Farm Workers (UFW).
Chavez helped create UFW in the 1960s, and the message of unity to create change is still alive today. Barajas said one of the continued issues is using harmful pesticides on farms.
“Every year we have people intoxicated and taken in ambulances to the hospitals,” said Barajas.
He said the pesticides then go into the water, air and ground — potentially impacting not just the farmer, but consumers.
“It is good that the public inform themselves in what they are eating and what is bad for their health,” Barajas told CBS13.
Another challenge farm workers still face is housing.
“I do not think our state has invested in our farm labor housing in decades really,” said agricultural commissioner of Yolo County Humberto Izquierdo.
This leaves it all up to each county to make improvements.
“We really strive to be able to connect with that community because we know how important they are to our food supply,” said Izquierdo.
Yolo County’s Health and Human Services Agency has a farm labor coordinator. Izquierdo said this allows them to provide medical, food and other social services.
Read the complete story here.