Cultivating Safe Spaces: House Farm Workers! advocates for safe, decent and secure housing for ag employees.

By Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer

Ventura County is blessed with a tremendous agricultural bounty. The area’s fields, ranches and farms cover thousands of acres, producing numerous fruits, vegetables, flowers and more. An industry that generates over $1 billion in revenue a year, it is the lifeblood of the county and a major source of foodstuff for both the state and the nation.

Our agricultural legacy has deep roots with many branches. One of its most critical components is its farmworkers. There are around 42,000 men and women who till the soil, plant the fields, bring in the harvest and make the entire operation feasible. The agriculture industry rests on their shoulders  and yet they are among the lowest paid workers in the area, who struggle to afford the basics . . . including housing. Many end up living in overcrowded apartments, garages or even sheds.

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