Farm workers cram daily into U.S.-Mexico border tunnel

Labourers line up hundreds deep for hours despite contagion risk

Reading Time: 3 minutes Mexicali | Reuters — Every night, hundreds of farm workers in Mexico crowd for hours in a cramped tunnel to a border station to reach day jobs in Imperial Valley, California, with no social distancing enforced despite coronavirus cases saturating hospitals in the region. By 2 a.m. on Tuesday, tense men and women with cloth […] Read more

Trump administration aims to buy milk, meat to help farmers, Perdue says

Homeland Security to ease visa rules for ag workers

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters — The U.S. government plans to buy milk and meat from farmers as part of an initial US$15.5 billion effort to help them weather the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Wednesday. The decision comes amid rising pressure from the U.S. farm lobby for government purchases as growers and […] Read more

Farmers to know soon whether new wage supports work for them

Top-up also en route for low-wage essential workers; CERB also tweaked

Reading Time: 4 minutes Ottawa — Agricultural employers may soon find out whether changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program, and other new federal supports on the way, will result in more workers for the sector. Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau on Wednesday said officials are reviewing requests from employers to see which ones will qualify to have 100 […] Read more

Challenges getting enough seasonal agriculture workers in the country means there’s a need for more Canadians to work on farms.

Ontario launches web portal to connect farmers and workers

Initiative to help match workers with farm operations who need them

Reading Time: 2 minutes To help ensure grocery shelves continue to stay full during COVID-19 the Ontario government is launching a new web portal, connecting workers with employers looking to fill positions in the agri-food sector. The tool will make it easier to match people to jobs and training resources throughout the provincial food supply chain, which has been […] Read more

Canadian, U.S. farms face crop losses on foreign worker delays

Reading Time: 2 minutes Winnipeg/Chicago | Reuters — Mandatory coronavirus quarantines of seasonal foreign workers in Canada could hurt that country’s fruit and vegetable output this year, and travel problems related to the pandemic could also leave U.S. farmers with fewer workers than usual. Foreign labour is critical to farm production in both countries, where domestic workers shun the […] Read more

Take extra steps to keep farm workers safe during COVID-19

Add biosecurity practices, or ramp up the ones you already employ

Reading Time: 3 minutes Farmers concerned about the spread of COVID-19 can learn from the hog sector on the matter of protecting themselves and their workers, says a leading expert on biosecurity in the pork industry. “This is the world of biosecurity that the swine industry deals with on a daily basis,” said Dr. Egan Brockhoff, veterinarian counsellor for […] Read more

A seasonal farm worker picks strawberries.

Seasonal workers caught up in COVID-19 border closure

Thousands of workers arrive in Canada to plant, tend and harvest crops each year

Reading Time: 2 minutes Updated 1:30 p.m. March 17 Fruit and vegetable growers will be short of workers this growing season with the news that labourers from the Caribbean and Mexico will not be allowed into Canada due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The federal government closed the border to anyone but Canadians and Americans in an announcement on […] Read more

COVID-19 and farm workers: How do we manage on the farm?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Keeping up to date with COVID-19 details and recommended protocols is challenging for everyone at this time. CAHRC has created a dedicated web page with the latest information, recommendations, employee management tips, tools (posters, policies) and links to authorities. These details will help you respond to the pandemic and limit the impact and spread of […] Read more

Kristjan Hebert, of Moosomin, Sask., is still refining his idea, but the basic concept is a certification program for people who want to work on farms. Like an electrician or plumber, the worker would take training, become an apprentice on a farm and after enough hours on the job, be certified as a journeyman farmer.

Producer pitches journeyman farmer idea

Could farm workers be certified like electricians or plumbers?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – It seems appropriate to have a “light bulb” moment while talking to an electrician. That’s exactly what happened to Kristjan Hebert last summer when a couple of electricians were working at his farm near Moosomin, Sask. Hebert was quizzing the electricians about their profession and what it’s like being a journeyman electrician. […] Read more

Positive work environment and the ability to grow in responsibility and pay are important to employee retention.

Finding and keeping farm employees

Informative job description and positive workplace are key contributors

Reading Time: 3 minutes Farmers across Ontario are struggling to find and keep good help. Marlene Paibomesai, a dairy specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Mark Ferguson, business management specialist with OMAFRA presented tips on attracting and keeping great employees at the 2020 SouthWest Agriculture Conference held in Ridgetown recently. Why it matters: […] Read more