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Collection Occupational Folklife Project

Fresh Produce Workers in Arizona

In 2015, folklorist Nicholas Hartmann and the Southwest Folklife Alliance in Tucson, Arizona, received an Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center to interview workers involved with the sale, distribution, and transportation of fresh produce that enter the American food supply through the city of Nogales on the United States-Mexico border. For generations, Nogales has been a major commercial hub for the marketing and distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Latin America. Hartman interviewed a wide variety of workers—from produce brokers to truck drivers to customs inspectors to multi-generational business owners—involved in the Nogales' century-old fresh produce industry. The 22 in-depth oral history interviews in this collection also examine how social, economic, and technical changes are impacting life and work along the Arizona-Sonora borderland.

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