By Debbie James

The coronavirus pandemic is making us view work through a different lens.

Health care workers and others on the frontline are no longer taken for granted. We come together as a nation to applaud them every week, appreciating the risks they are taking on our behalf.

Farm work was also at times a forgotten occupation, or regarded as work for someone else, with the more repetitive and physical work assigned to temporary foreign workers.

But harvests are now under threat because workers from overseas are largely absent from our fields. We are recognising the important contribution these 80,000 or so migrants made to producing food on farms in Pembrokeshire and beyond.

The pandemic has shone a light on what work is valuable in times of crisis.

The work of previously productive people in urban areas is now regarded as non-essential while many students who had jobs lined up after graduating have lost those opportunities.

Some are choosing to exercise their muscles on farms, playing their part in the essential service of growing food.

It’s many decades since large numbers of Brits harvested the country’s soft fruit and vegetable crop but that is changing.

When we work, we contribute to society and to our own sense of self-worth. Work on farms and in other essential services should be recognised for its high value.

This pandemic has invoked the wartime spirit to unite and survive in adversity. Enduring the rigours of farm work is another test of the nation’s mettle.

I suspect that this crisis will not be the last modification that Mother Earth demands of us.