Modern Stories Along the Anza Trail

Gabino: Foreman

Listen to an interview with Gabino:

Interview Text

Interviewer: What do you guys farm here?

Gabino: Alfalfa, Sudan, wheat, klein grass, just basically grass.

Interviewer: Are they grasses that they use for feed?

Gabino: No, well, the Sudan, we use it for feed, too, but it, mostly it goes, it gets exported to… China, Japan.

Interviewer: And, what do they do with it?

Gabino: Well, from what I hear, they do the bumpers on the cars.

Interviewer: They use it as a component in a, uh…

Interviewer: …For putting in, uh, yeah.

Gabino: Like fiberglass, yeah.

Interviewer: You handed one of the workers, um, it looked like a piece of technology. What did you give him?

Gabino: I gave him uh, it’s a, it’s a computer module for a hay bailer.

Interviewer: There’s a great deal of technology involved in what you guys do.

Gabino: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: How long have you been working for the farm that you, that you’re the foreman, right?

Gabino: I’m the foreman for this one, yeah.

Interviewer: And how long have you been here? At this particular…

Gabino: Right here. Ten years.

Interviewer: And, you’re how old?

Gabino: I’m 36.

Interviewer: Your name again is?

Gabino: Gabino Parga.

Interviewer: You’re a third generation farmworker, is that correct?

Gabino: Yeah, that’s true.

Interviewer: And, did you, when you were younger did you ever work, um, with your dad?

Gabino: Yes, when I was 15 years old. Worked ever since.

Interviewer: And, what kind of work were you doing back then?

Gabino: Back then, was the farm, too. Same thing. Whatever my dad tell me, because he was the foreman back then.

Interviewer: Your dad was a foreman?

Gabino: (Laughter) Yeah, yep.

Interviewer: And what ranch did he work on?

Gabino: He worked on west of El Centro called………….. It was called Brickman Brothers.

Interviewer: And how many acres did they have out there?

Gabino: Ah, they probably had, probably a thousand.

Interviewer: And were you, were they doing grasses there, also?

Gabino: They were doing grass and sometimes, um, produce. Lettuce, carrots, but I never got into the carrot and lettuce stuff. All my stuff was like this… hay.

Interviewer: And, did most people sort of specialize in one thing or the other?

Gabino: Well, right here where we’re at everyone’s got to do a little bit of everything.

Interviewer: Where are we going now?

Gabino: We’re going to go check on this guy over here. He’s on the disk. He’s moving dirt around. ‘Cause we’re going to plant Sudan on it. This area is a pretty unforgiving climate at times. Right now, it’s not too hot. And, in the summer time, it gets hot!

Interviewer: What do you have to worry about when it’s hot?

Gabino: Water and shade. That’s the main thing: water and shade.

Interviewer: But there is no shade out here.

Gabino: They provide shade while we’re… When we’re working, we’re inside the cabs, and they got A/C. It’s not that harsh.

Interviewer: So, the grasses you’ll plant now, and then harvest through the heat of the summer, is that it?

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