Support CAUSA Today!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

National News: Farmers in Colorado Struggle with Labor Shortage

In the wake of repeated crackdowns on illegal workers, some farmers in Colorado are struggling to bring in their crops with fewer available migrant workers. The NewsHour reports on how the problem is affecting individual farmers and the American economy.

TOM BEARDEN, NewsHour Correspondent: On the Pisciotta family farm just outside Pueblo, Colorado, workers are weeding and pruning the onion crop, preparing for the fall harvest. But they aren't typical farm laborers; they're inmates of the nearby state prison.
They're in the fields because the migrant workers that usually do this kind of work are not. The women volunteers are part of a pilot program that five local farmers are trying out. Joe Pisciotta pays the state over nine dollars an hour per worker, which is more than the typical hourly wage for this kind of work. He says, without this program, his onion, watermelon and pumpkin crops would have suffered.

JOE PISCIOTTA, Vegetable Farmer: We need them. We've got a lot of money invested in that crop up to harvest time, and if we don't have the people here to harvest them -- we've tried local people. We've tried unemployment agencies, and they just -- people just don't do that kind of work. >>Read full PBS Report PBS Audio


Popular Posts

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Press Release Distribution