Working on a farm picking strawberries or feeding animals during the summer may seem rustic at first glance. But what are a farmer’s working conditions really like? Close-up on this profession, which requires a passion for work and a love of manual work.
The Ferme des Possibles, an organic vegetable producer located in Victoriaville, has just found all the staff it will need for the summer season. From May to November, employees will work planting crops, maintaining the plants and harvesting and cleaning produce. Although this farm distinguishes itself from its peers by hiring young people from work reintegration, owner Jonathan Daigle finds there is a shortage of manpower in the agricultural sector.
This is because the job requires time and energy, and is not subject to the traditional 9 to 5. Sometimes it is necessary to be ready to start early, finish late and work a few hours on the weekend. “It all depends on the level of responsibility, but it is still a physically and mentally difficult job,” the farmer admits. “You have to be strong enough to work in the sun at 30 degrees Celsius.”
Indeed, those willing to get their hands dirty can quickly exceed 40 hours a week. “In farming, you cannot say ‘we’ll stop now and continue tomorrow’,” adds Jonathan Daigle. “The work has to be finished, and there’s another big day awaiting us tomorrow.” That’s why a team spirit is highly valued.
Considering the benefits
As far as pay is concerned, the pay varies between $12 and $15 per hour, and few farms offer social benefits. However, candidates often forget that they can earn benefits elsewhere. For example, since farms are located outside the city, accommodation is often offered. In addition, employees can enjoy the fruits and vegetables harvested. “Savings can reach $40 per week,” says the owner of Ferme des Possibles.
In addition, many travelers take the opportunity to tour the world at low cost. “Several countries offer a formula called woofing,” explains Jonathan Daigle. “You exchange a certain number of hours of work per day for food and lodging.”
So working on a farm can be beneficial when you are prepared to work hard. “You can work all summer then take it more easy during the winter with its savings,” the owner points out. “I know people who come to work all summer, then build a house or do a project.” In this sense, the job of a farmer is a good avenue for people who are motivated, interested, love to work outdoors and are eager to climb the ladder quickly.