National Farm Workers Day is a day to celebrate and be grateful for all the hard work that farmers do to keep fresh food coming. Vegetables, meat, herbs – the staples of your grocery bag all started out on a farm.
It’s sometimes hard for us to remember how lucky we are to have access to fresh produce, and we are somewhat disconnected from the roots – literally – of our food when we see it all packaged up in the supermarkets. On National Farm Workers Day, we are reminded to thank farmers for making it all possible.
Farm workers are often on the farm from sunrise to sunset – so it’s no wonder that they have a day for them!
History of National Farm Workers Day
Farming and agriculture have been a huge part of keeping humanity thriving since we were intelligent enough to cultivate food. In fact, the act of farming has been traced back to way back in the Neolithic era.
As far as we know, the first society to actively engage in farming on a larger scale was the Sumerians, who had a labor force specializing in farming. They also constructed irrigation methods to grow their crops and had a strict harvesting pattern across the year.
Farm workers are those in the fields, picking crops and looking after animals. With the advances in technology, specifically in farming, in the last century or so farm workers have found their work becoming even more specialized.
When we talk about a farmworker, this can have quite a broad meaning. It could mean someone hired by a farm to take part in any activities on the farm, but it can also mean someone who is hired solely to be involved in the production – such as harvesting.
Working outside for long periods in all kinds of climates, and the bending and crouching needed for harvesting – not to mention the dangers of using farm machinery and being around some big and easily riled animals – can be very tough on farmworkers. National Farm Workers Day is about thanking farmworkers for their hard work.
How to celebrate National Farm Workers Day
Supporting farmers and farm workers is a great way to observe this day – you could choose to fundraise for some of the few farming charities or donate to them yourself.
You could also visit a farm today – many have a farm shop and sometimes a cafe attached to them, where you can have a coffee and buy some fresh produce straight from the farm.
If nothing else, be sure that today when you drop by the supermarket to grab some vegetables, that you are mindful of the work that has gone into making your groceries.