Migrant Farm Workers - New York State

Every summer about 4,000 farm workers travel to Wayne County, NY (between Rochester and Syracuse) from central Florida to pick cherries and apples. Lured by crew bosses promising high wages they usually return to Florida in debt to the bosses after borrowing for food, alcohol, rent for substandard housing, and transportation home. Expecting steady employment, they are idle for the 2 months between picking seasons. Most workers must return the following season to pay off debts incurred the previous summer, perpetuating the migrant farm worker cycle.

RufusBus
Rufus Gaskin sits in the old school bus that brought him up from Florida and out to the orchards each morning.
2 FarmWrkBubbaLadders200605V++10
Rufus and Bubba Williams getting ready to put ladders up into the cherry trees.
RufusBus
AnnabelleSmileCardGame
AnnabelleSmileCardGame
Sorting cherries rose upshaw
Rose Upshaw pours a bucket of cherries into a bin.
AppleCrate
Lorraine Perry and her brothers on the makeshift log and hemp swing their father made for them behind the shack they call home during the summer.
Cahoon2Swing to Pool
KidsPoolHose
CoeCampKidsxGirlBoyBlock
KidsPool1
narrow hall girl
narrow hall 2 girls
Georgia&granddaughters
Georgia&grandson
Sugar, Rufus, and Annabelle Bell celebrate a winning hand of Tonke in front of the cinder block walls of Cahoon camp.
CatStoop
Mary in front of her room at Georgia Robinson’s camp.
DomingoRiver
Frankie Rivers, Sugar Bell and Bobo Decosey pose in front of the Cahoon camp juke.
DomingoRiver
Judge at Georgia Robinson’s.
BarbaraJillJukebox
Barbara Williams, 16, and her sister Jill, 7, pose in the Cahoon camp juke.
Bosnia1
CahoonJukeEye
Sunday afternoon in the juke.
Johnnie Johnson plays pool while Shawn, Tracy and Jill dance in the juke.
Ollie poses behind Henry’s card game.
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