Apple pickers in Adams County, PA, circa 1890.
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Apple pickers: men, women, and children in the field, with apples in barrels.

Credit: Courtesy of Adams County Historical Society

“Hired hands” have played a major role in Pennsylvania food production since the 1700s. Over time, low-paid, unorganized workers, many of them immigrants, furnished a greater and greater percentage of the labor on Pennsylvania farms. Today they continue to play a major role in food production in the Commonwealth.

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