Victoria Peck: America needs migrant workers

(Rich Pedroncelli | AP file photo) In this Aug. 17, 2016, photo, a farm worker trims grape vines in a vineyard in Clarksburg, Calif.

My name is Victoria Peck. I am 11 years old, and I have a home here in Utah. I have never moved from my house, and I have always gone to the same school. My dad has always had the same job as a teacher. I have all the same friends since I was very young, and I love it. I have a place to call my own.

In school I recently read a story called Amelia’s Road. It was about a little girl who was a migrant worker. She had to move from place to place during the harvest time. Her father had to move his family around to whatever crops were ready to be picked. In the story the girl wanted to have a place of her own, a school of her own, and friends of her own. Amelia could not have that because she did not stay in one place for very long.

Farmers in the United States need these migrant workers. I heard a story about a blueberry farmer that lived in the USA. He had migrant workers pick his blueberries. When COVID-19 hit, many of the migrant workers could not come to pick his blueberries. The farmer asked people in the United States to help him pick his blueberries but they said it was too much work. His crops rot without the migrant workers.

What will you do to help these migrant workers that do so much for our country? I have a home that I love and have settled in. I want migrant worker children to have a home that they can settle in too. All children deserve to be safe and happy.

Victoria Peck

Victoria Peck is a fifth grader at Midas Creek Elementary School in Riverton. This was the winning essay in the K-5 category of a statewide contest sponsored by the Utah Debate Commission.

Editor’s note • In anticipation of Wednesday’s historic vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City, the Utah Debate Commission worked with the Utah State Board of Education and business partner Lucid Software to create a curriculum for all K-12 students and held a statewide essay contest. More than 700 students from kindergarten to college submitted 300-word essays answering the question: “If you could ask the vice presidential candidates one question, what would you ask and why?” The essays were judged by the Utah Debate Commission and volunteers from the University of Utah and teachers throughout the state. They are being published with minimal editing.