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Stories of southern Idaho farmworkers shared, celebrated

Farmworkers of southern Idaho is an Instagram group focused on raising awareness and money, as well as sharing farmworkers' stories.

CASSIA COUNTY, Idaho — If it wasn’t for farmworkers, we wouldn’t have delicious and nutritious food on our tables.

Farmworkers are among those employees fighting to work through the challenges of the pandemic, and often extreme weather conditions.

Farmworkers of southern Idaho is an Instagram group focused on raising awareness and money, as well as sharing farmworkers' stories.

“Our page was created to bring visibility to local farmworkers. Our project started last year during the pandemic and we wanted to give them a shoutout and honor them for their work,” said Alejandra Hernandez, the co-founder of the Instagram page.

Latinos currently make up nearly 13% of Idaho’s labor force; a 7% increase from 2000, according to the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affair’s latest report.

Idaho's Hispanic workers are more likely than others to work in agriculture. Bingham, Canyon, and Cassia counties have the highest numbers of migrant and seasonal farmworkers in Idaho.

In October of 2019, a record 18,082 migrant and seasonal farmworkers had jobs in Idaho, making up 38% of all agricultural workers in the state.

Hernandez says this year, the majority of farmworkers in southern Idaho were women, something she's never seen before.

“I’ve never heard of anyone bringing women just to do potato harvest," she said. "This is the first time I hear about it. I think it is about the fact we are having labor shortages."

Hernandez says the page was created for both the Latino community and the general population

The Farmworkers of Southern Idaho’s Instagram page helps fundraise for essential items to help workers, including waterproof boots, coats, water, clothes, and hand sanitizer. To learn more, click here.

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