YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Texas watermelons tell a story of immigration reform
By Gene Hall
I love a sweet Texas watermelon. There’s nothing better in the summer heat, fresh off the vine–a true Texas treat.
But did you know the Texas supply of watermelons is dependent on migrant labor?
Watermelon grower Russell Boening of Floresville says it is difficult to find people locally who will work from 7 in the morning to 4 in the evening harvesting these delicious Texas fruits. There is no mechanical watermelon picker. Finding people willing to tackle this strenuous work is getting harder and harder. That—along with other jobs that many Americans are unwilling to perform—is why our immigration system needs to be reformed with a workable guest worker program.
As the immigration debate rages within Congress and across the nation, I wonder what happens if a solution is not found? Our wonderful Texas melons—along with a bevy of other fresh fruits and vegetables—will be grown in Mexico or another foreign country. THAT leaves a bad taste in the mouths of Texas farmers and consumers.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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