U.S. farms have faced worker shortages for years. Now compounding the problem: The children of farmworkers are leaving the fields, forcing farm owners to look to other countries for labor.
The number of H-2A visas for seasonal farmworkers issued each year has more than quadrupled over the past decade. The growth has alarmed labor advocates. Farmers don't love the program, either.
Jose Martinez has picked America's food for decades. With all that experience on different farms, he saw workers lacking labor protections. Now he works to give farmworkers more rights.
A legalization path for farmworkers failed to pass this month and faces an even steeper climb in a Republican-controlled House in the next Congress.
Ninety percent of North Carolina's farmworkers are uninsured. The same percentage isn't comfortable speaking English.
Getting COVID-19 tests and vaccine to essential workers on commercial farms and in meatpacking plants requires more than a pop-up clinic miles away. A positive test can be financially devastating.
As fires ravage California, farmworkers are dealing with dangerous air in incredible heat. Hernan Hernandez of the California Farmworker Foundation says there's "nowhere near" enough protective gear.
The government flew in thousands of seasonal workers from Romania and Poland, but that may not be enough. Some farmers are looking to hire Germans for the harvest.
The country faces a shortfall of up to 350,000 laborers just when it is bracing for deep economic impacts from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Farmworkers are still working during the coronavirus epidemic. They're essential. But they're also at greater risk of infection.