(CNN) -- Jessica Rodriguez was 11 years old when she first stepped onto a tobacco field in Snow Hill, North Carolina. She spent the next five summers working on a neighbor's tobacco farm, usually six days a week.
"It was hard. It was definitely hard," she remembers. "We had a good boss lady -- she bought us lunch every day. But remember, you're sitting there eating lunch with tobacco gum all over your hands."
Rodriguez had a lot to do, including hand-pulling tobacco and panning it with a harvester. She and the other children on the farm worked from 6 or 7 in the morning to 7 or 8 at night.
"I got heat exhaustion -- vomiting, feel like my stomach was trying to come out of my body," she said. "They would bring me water and saltine crackers to settle my stomach until I got better and then back to work."
It may not have been easy, she says, but the pay was was good. She earned anywhere from $100 to $150 a day; the money was given directly to her parents.
Rodriguez's story has played out time and again on tobacco fields across the country for decades. A report published this week from Human Rights Watch details the dangers child workers face on America's tobacco farms.