The United States’ agriculture industry is made up of an incredibly diverse group of people, making it a very special community to be a part of. American agriculture has been greatly enriched by the contributions of many cultures and nationalities. All across the states, farmers and ranchers come from many different walks of life, but where they differ in backgrounds, they find common ground with a love of working the land. For generations, people of Hispanic heritage have brought this passion and skill to United States agriculture, and National Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins on September 15, is a great reminder of this. The celebration was created to recognize the positive impact and contributions that Hispanic Americans have left on the country.
As the agriculture industry shifts and evolves, one thing remains constant – and that is the presence and growth of Hispanic farmers and farmworkers. The data confirms this: according to the United States Department of Agricultural Census, 57% of farmworkers identify as Hispanic descent. Together, they are responsible for $8.6 billion in agricultural products, operating 21 million acres of farmland. It’s clear that today’s Hispanic farmers and farmworkers are contributing to the legacy of those who came before them, creating even more reasons to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Farmworkers are an absolutely essential workforce that puts food on our tables across the country, powers the economy and supports our communities. In the Yakima Valley alone it has been reported that nearly 60% of the individuals in the farmworker community identify as Hispanic. The statistics are staggering and as an organization rooted in agriculture and community, we recognize the significance this holds in our own supply chain.
The hop industry is a direct benefactor of the work performed by farmworkers. Our growers rely on field workers throughout the growing season to have a successful harvest. This work starts in the early spring which entails digging roots, working irrigation lines, and prepping the field for the upcoming growing season. This is a very strenuous and physically intense process, but a quality crop and successful harvest would not be possible without it. Referencing our supply chain illustration, farm labor is the cornerstone of our company’s existence, and we understand the significance of the hard work that is performed in the field to ensure a bountiful crop each year.
Here at Yakima Chief Hops, we are proud supporters of this significant celebration and want to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions the U.S. Hispanic community has made to advance our economic and agricultural growth.
With the Yakima Valley accounting for a 50.2% Hispanic population, we are grateful and proud of the Hispanic heritage that surrounds us and hope to continually elevate these communities in all facets of our business.
We are excited to peel back the layers of our entire value chain over the course of the year to showcase the cultural significance the Hispanic community plays in our organization. We recognize Hispanic Heritage Month is a set amount of time and want to ensure that we can tell the stories from start to finish from the perspectives of members within our value chain. Stay tuned here and on our social platforms and join us on our quest to dive deep into our supply chain, telling the stories of those behind the scenes who make it all happen.