I currently work on a pick your own orchard/cidery production. I’m a farmer here, farming the fields and jumping around to do stuff with the cider production. This is the end of my second season farming.
The cidery is year-round. I will continue on through the winter. It’s different in every region of the United States. One of my main concerns of finding a job was that I wanted to find something that was guaranteed full time throughout the year, and not just be done in November when most farms dismiss their labor needs for the most part. I’m fortunate to find something that I can do year round even in winter.
There’s a lot of lack of control – there’s always going to be ideas that me or my coworkers who don’t own the farm have that aren’t going to come to fruition because at the end of the day we aren’t the boss and don’t have a financial stake in the company.
Even my boss, the farm manager, isn’t the farm owner. He has the most acute sense of not having full control of the land where he’s doing most of the work.
I think the owners are awesome and amazing people, but I don’t know quite where I stand with things like paid sick leave. One of my coworkers wanted to stay home and quarantine just in case…she is paid hourly like me, and she lost a whole week of work where she was just trying to protect her colleagues because the only place she is going is the farm to work with us.
I did some research into NY state laws for ag workers.There were rules that I didn’t previously know – you have to give your employees overtime for over 60 hours/week.
There were a few times in the summer that I probably was eligible, I don’t know because I wasn’t really paying attention.
These are things you should know as a worker – it should be clear.