Georgia farmers need workers

Lars(Z11a, Sunset 24)

I saw this on CBS This Morning today, and it basically says that crops may rot in the fields because foreign nationals are not allowed to come in to pick the crops.

<"Domestic labor just don't want to do this kind of work. It's unfortunate to say, but they just don't want to get out and do hard field labor anymore," White said. >

If unemployment is getting so high, it seems that some people might want to work on the farms, just to have a better income. This is another example of how we are not self-sufficient.

Do you think that if wages for farm workers were higher than Americans would do the work? My father had a large farm and had trouble getting workers, but I think unemployment was very low where he lived. I know he didn't pay very much, but he would get high school students to work in the fields in the summer, despite the intense heat in Texas. Do high school kids not want to work in fields any more?

This will likely affect what we will see in the grocery stores, according to the article.

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maifleur03

It takes becoming used to pain and discomfort to do the labor that is required on these farms. Two things that most in this country are not willing to do.

It will be interesting to see if high schools will reopen in the fall. Many high schoolers have summer activities that would prevent them from working in the fields. OSHA rules about what young people are allowed to do stopped some farmers from hiring them. My brother removed weeds with a corn knife at an age that now using any sharp object would be forbidden.

There will be a shortage of all kinds of food next year.

Edited to add that the H2 limit for workers coming into this country was set at only 40,000. Lars if you remember how many workers your father hired do you think that is enough for this whole country?

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Lars(Z11a, Sunset 24)

My father did not hire migrant workers, and so I'm not sure what your question is referring to. My point was that Americans used to work on farms but now it seems that most do not want to. I was not aware of rules that prevented high school age people from working in fields. I worked in fields from the time I was 14, but I mostly drove a tractor.

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patriciae_gw(07)

Young people are limited because of the use of pesticides as well. We know more about the long term affect of poisons that we used to.

People don't realize that crop work is not generally non skilled. You have to know what you are doing in order to not damage the plants when you harvest for instance. You can cause years long damage by picking fruit incorrectly. It is also very physically demanding. Depending on the job some field workers make very good money but they are skilled and work very hard. My area grows a lot of seed crops. Very skilled work and very hard labor. Lots of bending over all day tying up plants.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

It’s nearly impossible for me to hire Canadian citizens to do field work.

The ones who do are either naturalized citizens originally from South America, people with developmental disabilities or mental illnesses, or people who treat it as a hobby and like to come for an hour or two at a time to work casually.

Of course if people get truly desperate that may all change though.

parriciae raises a good point about the use of chemicals; even if I didn’t have more than enough work for my kids on our farm, I wouldn’t encourage them to take farm labour on a conventional produce farm/orchard for just that reason. (They do however work as milkers for a neighbouring dairy farm.)

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elvis

It’s nearly impossible for me to hire Canadian citizens to do field work.

Why?

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Tilly Teabag

They are working on robots for field work.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

It’s nearly impossible for me to hire Canadian citizens to do field work.

Why?

———

They don’t show up with anything approaching predictability or regularity. Why they don’t is anyone’s guess but several reasons have been outlined in this thread and I have mentioned them in other threads over the years. Maybe people are “spoiled” and “lazy” or maybe the work is harder and hotter than they expected, maybe kids have so many other distractions that they don’t want to give up for hours to stand in a field, maybe there enough other jobs available that picking berries isn’t attractive.

On average for the past 6-7 seasons I have had 2-3 Canadian born pickers whom I can count on for 4-5 hours of work per day, 3-4 days per week.

Not going to get a berry harvest off that way.

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elvis

Okay, thanks, I wonder why the non-Canadians and mentally challenged people are willing to do it.

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Kitchenwitch111

Americans are among the most obese people in the world, along with having bad habits like smoking, drinking and a sedentary lifestyle. They'd keel over the first day they try doing field work.

There's too many of them and not enough healthy people to hire.

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ohiomom

Do you think that if wages for farm workers were higher than Americans would do the work?

Nope .. as GW said, immigrants do the work that Americans won't. This happened several years ago in one of the southern states when they had a huge crackdown on undocumented workers, the farmers raised the wages and the crops rotted in the field.

ETA: I found an article from that time. It was more than 8 years ago in Alabama. I remember watching it on the news here.


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/oct/14/alabama-immigration-law-workers


And also ...

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2011/11/17/10565/top-10-reasons-alabamas-new-immigration-law-is-a-disaster-for-agriculture/

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

ohiomom

3 minutes ago

Do you think that if wages for farm workers were higher than Americans would do the work?

Nope .. as GW said, immigrants do the work that Americans won't.

———

I agree, I pay almost 50% higher than neighbouring berry farms and still struggle to get people to show up.

Well, I used to struggle because we want to employ local people first. Now I don’t struggle, I hire the migrants/immigrants who want to work.

I should mention, our berries get picked a week or so after other local fields for a variety of reasons so part of my challenge is certainly that the local labour force is already engaged by the time I need it. That doesn’t really explain why other people aren’t willing to step up though.

I should also mention that I’m only referring to our berry harvest. everything else is harvested by family, the 2-4 full time seasonal employees we hire each year, and a couple of devoted volunteers.

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batyabeth

Bring back the CCC! And the WPA, while we're at it. And victory gardens but that's OP

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Lars(Z11a, Sunset 24)

I think victory gardens is a good idea, and I would plant one if I were in Los Angeles instead of Coachella Valley. When we are able to go back to L.A., I will definitely start some vegetables, and I already have the seeds.

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Gooster(9)

I grew up in a vegetable farming family, and we had the same experience decades ago. Very few people could get hired and survive more than a week, let alone a day, except for legal immigrants. I can only imagine it is worse now, I haven't asked my cousin. I've read similar things here in NorCal, even with wages well above the minimum.

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elvis

I pay almost 50% higher than neighbouring berry farms and still struggle to get people to show up.

Well, I used to struggle because we want to employ local people first. Now I don’t struggle, I hire the migrants/immigrants who want to work.

To be clear, Lindsey. you are talking about Canadians here. Also. here:

They don’t show up with anything approaching predictability or regularity.

On average for the past 6-7 seasons I have had 2-3 Canadian born pickers

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