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A Vanishing Lifestyle

Mel Paz, 69, has been a migrant farm worker since 1953.  When he started, he and his family lived in chicken coops and other small shelters while working on farms in the summers.  In one year, Paz’s family would start in Texas, then work in Washington, Montana, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ohio and back to Texas.  They were always following the crops in season.  Now Paz still lives in Texas most of the year, but has been coming to Nebraska since 1975 for work.  A member of the vanishing breed of migrant farm workers in the area, Paz now works small jobs for many farmers in the Mitchell, Neb., area.  He may work building irrigation pipes for one farmer in the morning and weeding a field for another farmer in the afternoon.

Check out the UNL photo documentary project’s progress here.

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Categories: Migrant
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