Farm Workers Wanted

Cindy Zimmerman

Unemployment is at 9.5 percent – which means in human terms that about 14.6 million Americans are looking for work right now. That’s a lot of people collecting unemployment.

A couple of weeks ago, United Farm Workers (UFW) launched a campaign called “Take Our Jobs”, urging Americans to sign up for farm labor jobs that are normally done by migrant workers – many, if not most, of them illegals. Their point is not really to put unemployed Americans to work but to prove that regular Joes in this country are unwilling to do the hard labor that farm work requires.

Organizers of the campaign are set to appear on the Colbert Nation show tonight to talk about the plan and make the point that it is really a joke. According to a CNN Money article, about 4,000 have responded to UFW’s on-line offer to set them up with local farm jobs. Spokesman Arturo Rodriguez says only a few dozen have been serious, which is pretty sad. Sure, farm work is tough – ask any farmer or rancher. They do dirty jobs every day – just ask Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs.” But it is sad to think that millions of Americans would rather collect unemployment than pick oranges. It is honest, hard work – what our country was built upon.

What about high school students looking for summer jobs? The unemployment rate for teenagers in this country is over twice that of the national average – nearly 26 percent last month! Harvesting summer fruits and vegetables would be great work for them. Heck, you can get a tan and a work out while making some good money at the same time!

I hope that unemployed Americans do respond and prove that we can do the hard work required to feed the nation and the world. That’s no joke.