America's Farms Are Facing A Serious Labor Shortage : Consider This from NPR There's a labor shortage on farms in the U.S., and that has implications for all of us who enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables.

For farmers across America, finding enough labor has become a top concern. Decades ago, whole families of migrant farmworkers, the majority of them from Mexico, would travel around the U.S. in search of seasonal work. But over time, farmworkers began to settle. Now, many of them are aging out. And their children and grandchildren are finding opportunities in other sectors.

Who will replace them? And what is Congress doing to solve this issue? This summer, two NPR reporters visited some farms to see how this is playing out: NPR's Ximena Bustillo who reports on food and farm policy, and NPR's Andrea Hsu who covers labor.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

America's Farms Are Facing A Serious Labor Shortage

America's Farms Are Facing A Serious Labor Shortage

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Field worker Saul Gonzalez, of Yakima, Wash., picks cherries on the first day of harvest on a farm near Sunnyside, Washington on June 14, 2023. Mike Kane/NPR hide caption

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Mike Kane/NPR

Field worker Saul Gonzalez, of Yakima, Wash., picks cherries on the first day of harvest on a farm near Sunnyside, Washington on June 14, 2023.

Mike Kane/NPR

There's a labor shortage on farms in the U.S., and that has implications for all of us who enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables.

For farmers across America, finding enough labor has become a top concern. Decades ago, whole families of migrant farmworkers, the majority of them from Mexico, would travel around the U.S. in search of seasonal work. But over time, farmworkers began to settle. Now, many of them are aging out. And their children and grandchildren are finding opportunities in other sectors.

Who will replace them? And what is Congress doing to solve this issue? This summer, two NPR reporters visited some farms to see how this is playing out: NPR's Ximena Bustillo who reports on food and farm policy, and NPR's Andrea Hsu who covers labor.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Mia Venkat. It was edited by Megan Pratz, Emily Kopp and William Troop. Our executive producer is Sami Yenigun.