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Letter: Concerns for farm workers

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

As we watch the coronavirus pandemic unfold, we’ve come to appreciate the essential roles that all workers involved in our food system play around the country—from farmers growing our food in fields to grocery store employees stocking the shelves. With the anticipation of disruptions to our food system, it becomes necessary that we implement ways to support and keep safe the people doing this work in Virginia.

Throughout Tidewater, hundreds of migrant farm workers come each year to harvest produce, work in nurseries, process oysters, pick crabs, pack fish bait, and other labor-intensive jobs that keep our food system and agricultural economy flowing. Many of these migrant workers are already here; more will arrive in the next few weeks and months.

They travel from hundreds or thousands of miles away—risking being infected by the coronavirus en route—to come to work in our agricultural system that would cease to exist without them.

U.S. farm workers...

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