YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - In tonight’s Home Grown report, winter vegetable season is in full swing in Yuma County and Imperial County, but it wouldn’t be possible without the backbreaking labor of farm workers, preparing the fields for the first harvest of the season.
During this time of year, day laborers are working around the clock to make sure this lettuce makes it from the field to your table.
Farm workers are the backbone of the agriculture industry.
“Four, five o’clock in the morning, this is every day and we finish at like three o’clock in the afternoon," said Elizabeth Rodriguez, a field worker.
Elizabeth Rodriguez has been working in the fields for 23 years.
And she said it’s not an easy job working Monday through Saturday.
“It’s hard because I’m getting old. I’m going to be 58 years old. I do it for my grandkids and especially for you guys so you can eat at your table, everything is for you guys,” said Rodriguez.
Another worker, Adrian Cuen, is only 18 years old.
“It’s tough, but you really do get used to it quick,” said Cuen.
Cuen is originally from San Luis, Arizona, and said this is his first job after high school.
“I wake up around 3 am, I get ready in less than 30 minutes and I come up to where he’s parked and get in the bus and wait till we come here,” said Cuen.
He said making sure people across the country have leafy greens on their table is why it’s so special.
“When you think about it, I’m just here right, but if you think about it, you’re working for a bigger purpose. A lot of people are going to eat all this lettuce you know, you’re feeding a lot of people. It’s pretty amazing if you think about it that way,” said Cuen.
Starting in November, Yuma County produces about 90 percent of leafy greens to feed the nation.