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Exhibit at California State Fair pays tribute to farmworkers

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Posted: Friday, July 21, 2017 6:30 pm

The California State Fair has celebrated California agriculture since its founding. This year, the fair will pay tribute to the farmworkers who ensure California’s status as a top agricultural producer every year.

Hundreds of thousands of farmworkers work hard to bring food from California’s fields to tables in the state and around the world. Their contributions sustain what is today a $47 billion agriculture industry.

“The Best of California ... Celebrating Farm Workers’ Rich Contributions to Food and Agriculture” showcases the history and contributions of farmworkers in California Building A.

“Since 1854, the California State Fair has been a champion of agriculture education and is a recognized leader in farm-to-fork movement. We are honored to develop and present this one-of-a-kind celebration exhibit,” said Rick Pickering, CEO of the California State Fair.

The exhibit features the stories of pioneers who founded the United Farm Workers of America: Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and Larry Itliong. During the 1965-1970 Delano grape strike, Latino and Filipino workers shared the same picket lines, union hall and strike kitchen, making it a true multiracial struggle.

“As blessed as California is, our valuable food supply does not exist without the daily contributions of more than 400,000 talented farmworkers,” Pickering said.

The exhibit highlights the struggles of the early leaders and spotlights the progress farmworkers have made since the 1960s and 1970s.

The farmworkers’ exhibit showcases photographs, a documentary, and artifacts including clothing worn by Cesar Chavez, old buttons, flags and an original short-handled hoe outlawed by the state of California in 1975.

Included in the documentary are interviews with Paul F. Chavez, the Cesar Chavez Foundation president and son of Cesar Chavez; UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez; Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the UFW; California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher; California Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross; California State Assemblyman Rob Bonta; and former farmworker organizer Cynthia Bonta.

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