Listen to Brent and Sophie Nagao's story. Audio Producer: Laura Bult

Small farmers like Brent and Sophie Nagao have been hit hard by the recession and unfavorable agricultural policies. They have owned a small fruit farm in Selma, California for the last four decades. The economic downturn has made the industry unprofitable, raising the price of fuel and equipment. Harsh immigration laws have also made it difficult for the Nagaos and other small farmers to find laborers, many of whom have fled for fear of deportation. Still, the Nagaos say the farm is “in their blood” and refuse to leave the land, like many of their neighbors have done. Their son Evan will be the family’s fourth generation farm owner, but they all have outside jobs to try and make ends meet.

 

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“Happily, though, my fears turn out to be entirely unwarranted: during a month of poverty and toil, no one recognizes my face or my name, which goes unnoticed and for the most part unuttered.”

- Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich

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