Skip To Content

Remembering the Citrus Workers

By Selys Rivera, Frank S. Bouis Family Student Fellow

Being a citrus worker was definitely not a glamorous job, but it was a necessary and important one.

A citrus worker manning a machine.

The job was physically demanding, requiring workers to handpick citrus and place it in bags at the groves. They could pick more than 7000 pounds of fruit per day, emptying their bags into pallet boxes that could hold 900 pounds of fruit.

A man dumping a bag of oranges into a series of crates

Other jobs included washing, grading, and packing the fruit for sales to grocers

A woman grading oranges

and delivering produce to processing plants for juice extraction.

A man dropping off a stack of crates on a dolly

The work included long hours, heavy lifting, humble pay, and repetitive work, but season after season, racially diverse men and women did their jobs.

A woman working with oranges

They worked behind the scenes for customers to be able to enjoy the amazing citrus the sunshine state of Florida could produce.

A citrus worker manning a machine

Please join us as we remember the citrus workers and give them the recognition they deserve in this digital exhibit.

A citrus worker climbing a ladder

All of these images are available in the McKay Archives Online Database.