Fruit Growers Speak Out In Favor Of Immigration Reform

“It’s just not the work most people want to do,” Chalmers Carr, owner of Titan Farms in Columbia, SC, tells the National Journal. “Have you ever tried pruning in January? That would mean holding the prune sheers at [eye level] or above your head, pruning trees for about 10 hours a day. And it could be 32 degrees outside.”

Carr has been vocal about the need for immigration reform. This year, he told the National Journal he advertised for 500 seasonal workers in his local newspaper. He received 31 applications. Six of the original applicants are still working for Carr. He uses the H-2A guest worker program to fill the rest of his needs. This was after the previous owner of Titan Farms relied on migrant labor. Carr says a federal review of the workers’ W-2 forms showed 90% of the Social Security number did not match up.

“I said, ‘no, I’m not going down the same road.’ That’s when I went into the guest-worker program,” he told the National Journal.

Like for Carr, labor is a great need for Sam Mento of Atlantic Blueberry Co. in Hammoton, NJ.

“Typically we can use 70 people but had to do it with about 42 this year,” Mento tells the Atlantic City Press.

Mento told the newspaper that he lost some fruit because it could not be picked in time. Although he uses migrant workers, he is often unsure he will have the proper staffing from year to year. Immigration reform, says Mento, should be industry-based.

“There are unemployed construction workers. What we don’t have are unemployed agricultural workers,” he says.

Topics: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fruits Stories
Brandt logo
Citrus
April 28, 2016
Brandt Acquires Majority Interest In Utah-Based Baicor
Baicor will operate as a subsidiary in Brandt’s specialty formulations division. Read More
workers bending
Fruits
April 28, 2016
Knowing Role, Expectations Beneficial To Your Staff
Labor management is much more than just delegation. Read More
field shot
Fruits
April 28, 2016
USDA Establishes New Partnership To Link Underserved Growers To Farm Service Agency Programs
Minority, women, new and beginning, military, veteran, and urban producers to receive training and information on agency services. Read More
Vineyard Labor Downsized GP
Apples & Pears
April 28, 2016
The Truth About Most Farmworkers [Opinion]
Just ask any grower who has placed a help wanted ad. Read More
Jones Potato Farm field in Parrish, FL
Citrus
April 27, 2016
Meet Florida’s New Crop Of Agricultural Environmental Leaders
Annual award program recognizes farmers practicing environmentally innovative techniques. Read More
(Photo credit: USDA)
Fruits
April 27, 2016
It’s Time To Rethink Grade Standards For Produce
Food waste is largely dictated by limiting produce standards. Read More
red blotch featured image
Crop Protection
April 27, 2016
Vector Transmitting Red Blotch Virus Found
Researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC-Davis) have found the vector that seems to be spreading grapevine red blotch, a Read More
The Latest
Farm Management
May 2, 2016
USDA Unveils New Urban Agriculture Toolk…
For urban farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs, the toolkit is an electronic document that helps users navigate more than 70 resources, including technical assistance and financing opportunities. Read More
Citrus
April 28, 2016
Brandt Acquires Majority Interest In Uta…
Baicor will operate as a subsidiary in Brandt’s specialty formulations division. Read More
Fruits
April 28, 2016
Knowing Role, Expectations Beneficial To…
Labor management is much more than just delegation. Read More
Fruits
April 28, 2016
USDA Establishes New Partnership To Link…
Minority, women, new and beginning, military, veteran, and urban producers to receive training and information on agency services. Read More
Citrus
April 27, 2016
Meet Florida’s New Crop Of Agricultural …
Annual award program recognizes farmers practicing environmentally innovative techniques. Read More
Fruits
April 27, 2016
It’s Time To Rethink Grade Standards For…
Food waste is largely dictated by limiting produce standards. Read More
Fruits
April 27, 2016
Common Sense On Immigration [Opinion: On…
We need a guest worker program if we’re going to feed America and ensure our national security. Read More
Citrus
April 26, 2016
Deception Is A Dish Best Never Served [O…
Recent mainstream media kerfuffle over local food legitimacy stirs up the need for more clearly defined terms, better awareness among consumers. Read More
Fruits
April 26, 2016
New Study Finds Traditional Migrant Work…
Ball State University research shows many of the agricultural migrant workers of the past just aren’t migrating any more. Read More
Citrus
April 26, 2016
Farm Bureau Says Labor Visa Backlogs Thr…
Agency calls for swifter processing of paperwork so growers' requests for crews can be met. Read More
Fruits
April 25, 2016
Avocados Emerging As Attractive Alternat…
Researchers vetting viability of commercial production in the Indian River region. Read More
Fertilizer
April 25, 2016
FDA Extends Comment Period On Using Raw …
The assessment will be designed to evaluate the risk that the use of raw manure as fertilizer on produce crops may pose for consumer health.   Read More
Cucurbits
April 23, 2016
Award-Winning Interactive Music Video Pr…
Funded by the National Watermelon Promotion Board, the video was produced in support of the rock and roll nutrition show, Jump With Jill. Read More
Citrus
April 22, 2016
Happy Trails To A Great Researcher, Bett…
Dr. Brian Boman worked with growers to examine their nutrient and water use and how practices could be modified to not only lessen environmental impacts, but also increase growers’ profitability. Read More
Food Safety
April 21, 2016
It’s Your Duty To Challenge The &#…
The Environmental Working Group is at it again, making it critical for growers to keep customers informed about production practices and the safety of produce. Read More
Citrus
April 20, 2016
USDA Offers $4 Million For Pest Manageme…
Funding to be used to increase crop protection practices, tackle high-priority pests. Read More
Crop Protection
April 20, 2016
A Cool, Wet Spring Means Increased Pest …
Growers in the East seeing increasing pressure from green fruitworm and rosy apple aphid, need to start scouting for black stem borer. Read More
Fruits
April 19, 2016
Researchers Say It’s Too Soon To React T…
Although there is some damage to flower buds, experts suggest thinning decisions should be made once the crop is set. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]