EDD Celebrates Farmworkers and Cesar Chavez’s Remarkable Legacy


NR No. 24-13
Contact: Loree Levy/Aubrey Henry

NOTE: Video available of farmworkers, EDD outreach workers, and partners in the Central San Joaquin Valley.

SACRAMENTO – As Californians celebrate the remarkable legacy of labor leader, community organizer, and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, the Employment Development Department (EDD) is honored to serve agricultural workers and their families by sharing vital information and providing support services.

“Cesar Chavez inspired thousands and advanced the dignity of working people and the promise of a California for All,” said EDD Director Nancy Farias. “I am grateful for the strong work of state agencies, community partners, and EDD staff who honor Mr. Chavez’s legacy through continued outreach to farmworkers.”  


California Agriculture Industry

California leads the nation in processing agricultural goods and is the world's top exporter of produce. This industry relies heavily on the thousands of workers who cultivate over 400 different agricultural commodities across the state.


  • According to data from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, over a third of the country’s vegetables and three-quarters of the country’s fruits and nuts are grown in California.
  • Dairy products, grapes, cattle, and almonds lead the list of top commodities produced in California in 2022-23.
  • Based on March 2024 estimates, California is home to 368,200 farm jobs with the largest concentrations of jobs in the regions of San Joaquin Valley (168,000), Central Coast (62,300), South Coast (76,600), and Sacramento Valley (23,500).
  • There were an estimated 667,000 crop workers in California in 2022-23, and approximately 82,100 of them were seasonal workers. An estimated 22,900 of the laborers were migrant workers.

Services for Agricultural Workers

EDD works with state and local organizations to provide a variety of services for the thousands of workers who support the agriculture industry:

  • Referrals to local services, such as low-cost medical services, housing, utility assistance, food banks, and childcare.
  • Guidance about how to apply for unemployment benefits when the growing season ends, and disability and Paid Family Leave benefits.
  • Information and assistance with employment services and employment-related complaints.
  • Information on state and federal farmworker employment rights.
  • Referrals to agricultural job opportunities (H-2A program).
  • Assistance with job search and coaching, job screening, résumé writing, and referrals to jobs.
  • Assistance with farmworker resources in CalJOBS, California’s online resource for job postings, education and training programs, and labor market information.
  • Information about training opportunities through the EDD and community partners.
  • Opportunities available through job fairs and workshops at America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC) and other locations.
  • Access to computers, printers, scanners, copiers, and multilingual assistance.

The Department’s Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers (MSFW) Outreach Program helps agricultural workers. The EDD Monitor Advocate Office oversees the MSFW Outreach Program and corresponds with California agricultural employers and EDD representatives to ensure migrant farmworkers and all job seekers are provided equitable employment services.

For more information about programs and services benefiting the California agriculture industry and its workers, visit the EDD website. Learn about the State's agriculture industry, the assistance programs we make available to workers, or watch a video highlighting the significant role farmworkers play in California's economy.