I am a former farm worker from Florida who has worked in picking citrus fruit and tomatoes. With regard to the article on the Eastern Shore migrant workers {July 25}, I basically agree that worker housing in Virginia and other states is a disgrace, but I totally disagree that the taxpayer should have to subsidize agribusinesses with low-interest loans from state funds. Eastern Shore farm workers are the only workers I know of who have had a pay decrease in the last 10 years. We used to get paid 40 cents for each bucket we picked; now we're paid 35 cents.

We work very hard for our pay, harder than almost anyone. In most instances we are not even allowed the dignity of working directly for a company; instead we work for a parasite known as a labor contractor, while the company insulates itself from responsibility for our working conditions.

I am tired of seeing the government subsidize an industry that gets fat off my cheap labor and the taxes of people overcharged at the store for my work. If Virginia wants to do something for farm workers, it should give us the right to have union elections in the fields and listen to us. If we were paid fairly, we could afford our own housing. RANDY CECIL Washington