Labor Day on the farm

FRESNO, Calif.

"It feels just like any other day, we have to work," said Jose Valdez. Valdez is a contractor who's been working on this day without holiday pay for more than 10 years. "It's important to devote the time to harvest now before the winter months come and there is no work," Valdez said.

But other laborers would have liked to have the day off. "I'd like to be off but when there's work, then there's money to be made," said Ray Hernandez. Hernandez is just glad that he has a job during these tough economic times, so he jumps at the chance to make extra cash that doesn't come easy nowadays.

"I'm happy because there are a lot of people that don't have a job that would like one," said Valdez, realizing there are a lot of his friends that would like to be in his shoes.

"Farmers never sleep, especially this time of year," said Larry Champagne. "Things have to be done, you know the weather's not on your side, it's rather warm - so things get speeded up."

Champagne owns his own farm and understands the harsh realities of working in the agriculture business. He says many of his workers have to sacrifice the holidays in order to put food on the table. "The ones that are working, they're very appreciative. They understand it and I've been doing this for quite a while, so I've got families that depend on it," he said.

Work that many of these laborers are thankful for having, especially on this Labor Day.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.