Home > Migrant > Muddy Fields, Still a Busy Day

Muddy Fields, Still a Busy Day

Mel Paz, 69, has worked as a migrant farm worker since 1953.  For most of his life he would work every day, no matter the day of the week or holiday.  But since the use of Roundup Ready sugar beets and other agricultural technological advances, the need for work has diminished.

“I used to work everyday, even on holidays,” Paz said.  “But now the chemicals have made the jobs disappear.”

Becuase the fields do not need constant attention for weeding and thinning the crops, Paz works to dig irrigation ditches and build pipes for various farmers in the Mitchell, Neb., area.  The rain throughout the week allowed Paz to not work on Saturday.

He spent the day mowing his lawn, going to the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument and going to the farm of Jerry Lovelace.

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

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Categories: Migrant
  1. Jen Stastny
    May 30, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Anna! Your photography is striking. I haven’t had a chance to really look at it all, but I wanted to comment before your mother rips my computer out of my hands. I want to commend you on the rattlesnake photo. It’s beautiful and in spite of your mother’s vain attempts to instill a fear of snakes in you, you capture the power possible in such a creature. I dig it.

    Jen Stastny

    • May 30, 2011 at 4:37 pm

      Thank you so much. They aren’t rattlesnakes though. They are bullheads and I wasn’t quite sure why the one was seemingly eating the other. Thanks!

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