It was a scene that I’d never experienced until moving to Essex County.
Students gathering together in the summer to all hop on a school bus to go out for a day in the fields de-tassling corn. My students were not shy about sharing their experiences.
- it’s back breaking
- it’s hard work
- your hands hurt
- it’s really hot
- I hate going to the bathroom in a porta-john
- you never have enough water
Now, agricultural work isn’t new to me. I grew up in an community that was rich in agriculture. As an elementary school and later secondary school student, I spent time
- pulling weeds in bean fields
- picking rocks in corn fields
- picking cucumbers
- installing page fences
- feeding cows
- cleaning barns
- haying / strawing
And, I could agree with all of my students’ observations except we didn’t have porta-johns. But, there were always jobs. You didn’t have to look that far to find one.
But, I digress.
We’ve had a lot of rain in Ontario this spring. I was listening to a news report indicating that, if farmers didn’t get on the land soon, there won’t be enough growing time.
Driving through and walking the dog along roads and fields, I can see that they are largely filled with weeds. Farmers haven’t been able to plant yet and the word is that they may not be able to plant at all.
The net effect – farmers will lose that income, students will not have the summer job opportunities, we’ll face higher prices at the supermarket.
Now, safety nets are in place for a lot of those that will be affected. Except for the students. They’ll have to look in other places for the traditional jobs.
The question is – what’s available out there?
We’re headed into the last week of the school year which leads into the first week of summer jobs for students.
What are they going to be doing for work this summer in your area?