Summer family

Recently, I’ve started following a few more farm blogs. Even though we live on a farm, I am definitely not a farmer and there’s a lot that I don’t know.

One of the blogs I’ve been reading is Dinner Starts Here.

Dinner Starts Here logo

Contributors to this site are young farmers from Ontario. They write about their lives on the farm and “how they’re producing everything from berries to beef, milk and eggs to wheat, soybeans, potatoes and maple syrup.” The idea is to help people understand what goes into producing the food we eat and get to know the people who make our food.

Last week I came across a post about one of the farmer’s summer family. She wrote about the migrant workers they hire every year to work on their farm. She said, “Our guys are one of the major backbones of the business. They are vital to our operations successes – we quite literally could not exist without them.”

Migrant workers

Photo courtesy of Dinner Starts Here

I realized that after reading her post, I had some misconceptions about migrant workers, so I reached out to the Dinner Starts Here team and asked if I could share her post.

Erin gives a good explanation of the important role migrant workers play on Ontario farms, and it’s a great introduction to the people who produce the food we eat.

Contrary to why a lot of people believe farms hire migrant workers – it’s not cheaper or easier… it’s actually is a lot more expensive and a lot more work for us to hire them than it would be to hire local staff. First – we’re required (as we are required to pay all of our staff) to pay them minimum wage. Some of our guys who have been returning year after year have earned increased wages like all of our staff does when they return year after year. Then – we have to pay for housing, a portion of their utilities, and a portion of their airfare to and from Mexico. We also spend countless hours taking them shopping for anything they need – from groceries to new clothes to take home for their kid… which is a tremendous amount of work, time and effort. But in the end… for us… it’s worth it.

I encourage you to pop over to Dinner Starts Here and read the rest of the post.

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3 thoughts on “Summer family

  1. I’m from the Central Valley of California which is farm country and home to a large permanent farm worker population as well as a migrant population. There really is a huge misconception about this type of work, the people who do it, AND the people who hire these workers. Of course there are always exceptions, and that is what we hear about most often. I am glad to read how it works in Canada where there is only a short growing season.

    I have a real soft spot for the folks that do this difficult and often thankless work in the fields. Much of the population has no idea just how reliant they are on the very people they have so little respect for.

    Sorry…soap box! 🙂

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