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Monday, March 10, 2014

Not only an employee, a member of the family

Growing up as a farmers daughter I drove around a lot with my father; checking on the trees, checking on the employees or just walking the orchards and learning from my Dad. I especially enjoyed checking the employees around lunch time, in which they would be cooking up some tacos, with homemade tortillas and salsa. At a young age I nicknamed one gentlemen, Taco Jesse, because he would always save a taco for me when he would see me coming. These lunch time visits were just the beginning of our family relationships with our employees. Every party or family wedding they would always be there to celebrate with us. Our employees had become part of our family as I grew up. From sun up to sun down, they spent more time with my family then their own sometimes. They weren't just working on my family farm for a pay check, our family farm was their livelihood too. If our farm was successful, they would be successful.

Our retiring employee with three generations of bosses
This last weekend I got to think about growing up on the farm and my relationship as a child with our employees. Two weeks ago, my husbands oldest employee came to work with a retirement letter. He had worked on my husbands family farm for 33+ years and Saturday was his last day. He started working for my husbands grandfather before my husband was even born. He was there when my father in law came home from college, got married and starting having children. He was there when my husband starting going to work in the orchards with his father and grandfather. He was there when my husband came home from college. He has been through three generations of bosses under the same farm and has seen two generations of almond orchards be planted. With that kind of relationship, he was able to see my husband grow from a small baby sleeping in the back of a tractor, to developing his passion for farming and coming home to do just that. Our farm would be nothing without our employees. They truly make our farm successful and we depend on them. Without their sweat, hard work and work ethic, our farm wouldn't be here.

Saying goodbye to a friend
To celebrate our retiring employee we had a party for our all our employees to say thank you for all he has done. It was at the end of the party as all three generations of our farm were saying good bye to our retiring employee that I saw tears building up in his eyes. He too had felt part of our family. He didn't just come to work every day as an employee, he came to work everyday to people who provided him a work family. As his 65th birthday is approaching, it is only fitting he turned in his work uniform, but we welcome him back anytime he wants to be part of our family. Truth is, he will always be a part of our family, each and every person who steps on to our farm is.

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl

4 comments:

  1. Great post! We have some farm employees too that are like family. In fact, one of our older farm hands is pretty much an additional grandfather for our kids. He gives them birthday and Christmas gifts and we do the same for him.

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  2. Wonderful memories Jenny. We love you. Dad and Mom

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  3. You made me a little misty eyed. We, too, employ families on our farm. This winter we went to Texas to see them. They love living in Texas in the winter, and Minnesota in the summer. :) We're losing a great worker to a college master's program this year. We are so proud of him, and feel blessed to have been a part of his life.

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  4. Love hearing from other family farmers who extend their family to their valued employees. Thanks for sharing!

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