December 5, 2011

College readers say 'Farm Hands' elicits 'surprisingly emotional' reaction and change of perspective

Genesee Community College in Batavia launched a new class this year, Western New York Agriculture (AGR 190). The college wants to make students aware of the job opportunities at local farms, from Cornell researchers, feed and chemical salesmen, environmental consultants, nutritionists, herdsmen, milkers and crop harvesters. There’s a long list of jobs. The college also wants students to better appreciate food production.

The new class read Farm Hands and welcomed me to GCC last week to talk about my experiences. I’m thrilled by their positive reaction to the book. They said it helped them better understand what they were looking at when they toured local dairy, fruit and vegetable farms. Some of the students even called the book inspirational. They admire the farmworkers for traveling so far as young men, and for working so hard while they are here.

The students wrote reaction papers to Farm Hands, specifically to the chapters on planting onions on the muck, milking cows and picking apples. The class instructor shared some of them with me. Here are some of their comments:

“Every American needs to read this book and then take them self to a local farm and try this work. Perhaps they will have a new understanding of where their food comes from and how it gets to their table. I suspect the anti-immigration rhetoric would cease quickly and more laws like H-2A would be implemented to aid farmers in finding their farm help instead of penalizing them. What a wonderful world we would have if everyone behaved like the workers and farmers in Tom’s book.”

“Farming is demanding physically, mentally and financially. You must be able to give farming everything you’ve got!”

“After reading Farm Hands I was surprisingly very emotional. Tom Rivers did an excellent job at conveying the reality of the term ‘farm’ and everything contained therein … Tom Rivers’ realness in expressing details allows me to empathize with each individual task. Personally, I’d never want to work on an onion farm, let alone spend any time in that filthy muck.”

“I believe there are not enough American workers locally to fill the farming jobs here and elsewhere in the country. The jobs are physically demanding and require teamwork and manual dexterity. The workers from the other countries are highly skilled, physically fit, and highly motivated. There are few American workers that can compete with them.”

“In the past I have gotten a little irritated when the price of milk would rise to over $4 per gallon. I now realize that it is worth every penny.”

“Overall I can say I was surprised at the relationship between farmer and worker. I had the impression that this relationship was little more than a legal master-slave relationship where the workers were exploited. Now I see it as a win/win dependent relationship. The farmers need the workers and the workers need the work to provide for their families.”


  1. I love western culture. This is nice opportunities. I want to take admission and thank for sharing with me.
    environmental consultants

  2. This post is very useful for us. Because we have a lot of
    tips and tricks from this post. Thank you for this amazing post share. I many
    tips about bd jobs today as well. If you want to know more about a career sites, please visit our website.

  3. Fake oakleys mexico "with what was left of day, I crossed the Ohio River into old Gallipolis, a town of a dozen pronunciations, a gazebo-on-the-square town settled by eighteenth-century Frenchmen. Those figures of speech came into our consciousness for a reason. It appears that there was a lot of swindling going on back in young days of our fake oakleys mexico country.

    Cheap Oakley sunglasses is a well-known sunglasses brand, it is famous all over the world. Amazing performance, fake oakleys mexico best fake oakleys mexico protection and comfort are the attractive features of fake oakleys mexico Oakley sunglasses. We are Oakley sunglasses outlet online store, you can choose all kinds of discount Oakley sunglasses here.

    To learn more, request a complimentary Taste fake oakleys mexico of Soul Power Coaching Conversation. This conversation is specifically fake oakleys mexico designed to provide a listening ear and help you articulate your specific positive intentions priorities for the next 6 months. You fake oakleys mexico decide based on your intentions if fake oakleys mexico you want coaching support fake oakleys mexico to create the focus, consistency, discipline, balance, peace of mind, and joy required to follow through and achieve those results.

    Rather than fake oakleys mexico think of these replica pieces as discount oakly sunglasses imitations, think of them as being inspired by David Yurman originals. There is nothing wrong with fake oakleys mexico saving money, especially when you are on a strict budget. You should not have to go without beautiful pieces of jewelry just because you don't have thousands of dollars to spend,

    Then there are Wayfarer shades. Like Aviators, Wayfarer sunglasses were originally design for pilots. Introduced by Ray Ban Wayfarer is thought to be one of the most popular and best selling shades to date. There are fake oakleys mexico certainly moving companies that will drop off a container, leave it for loading and then pick it up and move it, but fake oakleys mexico I'm not sure that it would be suitable in your case. I'm using U Pack to move the things in my small apartment from Virginia to Florida, but the door to door move in a small container (6'x 7'x 8') is going fake oakleys mexico to cost about $850 (hundreds less than the quote I received from PODS). They also do terminal to terminal moving, where you would get the boxes to a local U Pack wholesale sunglasses oakley facility, and they would deliver it to a facility in Virginia, where your brother-in-law could pick them up - that service runs a few hundred less than door to door,

    This fake oakleys mexico performance deserves to be on the fake oakleys mexico oakley outlet online short list of Peter Lorre best. Here he plays a Hungarian immigrant in New York City with dreams of being a successful watchmaker. The course of his life is fake oakleys mexico changed by an apartment fire that disfigures him and makes him an outcast to all except fake oakleys mexico the criminal underground, where, little by little, he begins to find his niche fake oakleys mexico

  4. This post is very useful for us. Because we have a lot of
    tips and tricks from this post. Thank you for this amazing post share