Top 7 Reasons Farmworkers Are So Hard to Find [2019 State of the Vegetable Industry]

Top 7 Reasons Farmworkers Are So Hard to Find [2019 State of the Vegetable Industry]

We all know labor is the biggest problem most growers deal with. But why, exactly, is it so tough? You told us your part of the answer in our 2019 State of the Vegetable Industry survey, and we added it to the other 306 growers answering our question. Take a look at the top seven barriers to recruiting labor ranking below.


You’ll also want to check out how the industry is doing with succession planning and our picks of your best comments on labor.

Biggest-Challenges-Recruiting-Labor AVG SOI 2019


No-Change-in-Succession-Planning AVG SOI 2019


What-Youre-Saying-About-Labor AVG SOI 2019

Thanks to these sponsors of American Vegetable Grower‘s 2019 State of the Vegetable Industry report. See more results from the 2019 State of the Vegetable Industry survey.

2019 AVG SOI Sponsors

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Here is the thing with farm labor. If you are hiring local, the vast majority of our fine millennial population lack basic blue collar work skills – old school common sense and work ethic. As a result you need to constantly check on them and guide them in nearly every job. Don’t get me wrong, these kids/young adults are smart and in most cases very nice people, more so than a generation ago However, they do not like being in the field at 6:00 AM and once the thermometer hits 80, it’s time for water breaks every 15-20 minutes. I am a 50 year old male, and have been able to out work every 16-20 year old I have ever hired. For example, I can unload a hay wagon in the 90 degree heat in about a half hour. This same job requires 2-3 millennials and about 1 hour. When I finish the job I would move on to another unfinished job but the youngsters of today will wait to be told what to do next. I pay $12-15 an hour and can’t keep people around. It is just too easy to get a job in an air conditioned place where you can pick your hours and largely remain idle ( code for play on your phone).