For many farmers across Ontario, Autumn signifies a time during which things on the farm begin to slow down, depending on the crops being grown. And, for those farmers who are beginning to reduce their workload with the approaching colder weather, they’re likely getting ready to bid farewell to their employed migrant workers if they rely on their assistance on their farms.
My dad and uncle employ migrant workers from Mexico and the Dominican Republic to help with the various crops we grow on our farm. Together, my dad and uncle employ 19 men who work tirelessly to ensure things are completed in an efficient manner. I can say with complete confidence that if it weren’t for the assistance these men provide, we would not be able to farm to the extent we do, nor would a majority of other farmers who manage large operations.
My family and I say it every year, but it really is hard for us to say goodbye to these guys when they head back home for the winter months. They’re like family to us, and the farm feels rather lonely once they’ve all returned home. It’s a bittersweet farewell, though, because as sad as we are to see them go, their families and friends are eagerly awaiting their return home after missing them for a minimum of six months. These men sacrifice so much to come here and work in order to support their families, and they’re always ecstatic when the time comes to head home.
Migrant workers are absolutely integral components of agriculture. It is vital to describe how relevant they are to the industry, and they’re deserving of utmost respect and appreciation for what they do for our farmers.
I wish all migrant workers safe travels home to their families and friends, as well as a safe and healthy winter.