"Because we need to," said Cortez, in English. "We need money. We need work. Work is low in other areas, so we gotta do what we can."
Cortez is a former carpenter, but when the economy soured, his construction industry tanked, and the Gilroy High School graduate was left with few options.
"It's not something I'd like to do," said Cortez. "But it's something we have to do."
Then there’s Pedro Aparicio. It’s been two years since he hugged his family. Aparicio left Mexico because he needed to support his wife and 4 children back home. In Spanish, Aparicio said it's part of the things in life you have to do to survive.
They spent four hours bent over, until their break arrived. Then it was back to the grind.
All- the-while, music blared from a radio atop the conveyor belt.
The music seemed to lighten the mood, and allowed them to sing along to get their minds away from the hard work, the heat, and the backache.
"It's alright," said Cortez of his back. "It's sore, but you get used to it."
Supporters say immigrants do the jobs that no Americans want to do and in the case of farm work, they may be on target.
Just ask Aiello. "Even the last three or four years,' said Aiello. "The recession we've been in, I haven't seen too many white people coming to my office looking for applications for this kind of work."
Aiello is pushing for immigration reform. Not amnesty, but a guest worker program so he can help keep his big industry moving.
"A good stable workforce is key to what we do. And key to everybody's livelihood if they want to continue to eat," said Aiello.
California is the largest agricultural state in the country, according to the California Farm Bureau Federation.
The 450,000 farm workers across the state help bring in more than $36 billion in revenue every year. And the California Agricultural Statistics Service reports there are also 650,000 auxiliary jobs that rely on farm work, from truck drivers to warehouse workers. There are also marketing and exporting jobs that rely on the work of farm laborers.
Back at Uesugi Farms, after their half hour lunch at 10:30 a.m., the workers are halfway to filling the order for the day.
It’ll be another five hours of backbreaking work.
Our pictures help tell the story of a job that not many can, or want to do.
They also show the beautiful greenery of agriculture.
But what the camera can't transmit, is the sweat under the workers hats, the ache in their backs or the dust in their eyes.