“Weeding sugar beets for $2.00 an hour”

By Bill Gillette, near Fort Collins, Colorado, June 1972

From the early decades of the 20th century, most workers in America’s fruit and vegetable fields were migrants who moved around the country following the harvest. Initially, growers hired Japanese immigrants. By the 1920s, Mexicans and Filipino field workers replaced the Japanese. They and their children worked long hours picking crops for very little money.

National Archives, Records of the Environmental Protection Agency (412-DA-11420)