Farm Grown Crew, Past and Present

Over the last three years, we have transitioned from hosting J-1 student farmers to employing H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers and while it was great to have new students over the years, the benefits of welcoming H-2A workers has proved invaluable for our Farm’s produce operation. Bartlett’s Farm works with the New England Apple Council to onboard new crew members and we are now in our 3rd season with the program.

This year, we expect to have 20 crew in total (with ten crew members returning after working the last two growing seasons at Bartlett’s). Because these hardworking individuals are so good at what they do, (and return each year with the prior year’s working knowledge of our farm,) we are able build upon past achievements and continue to forge a brighter future for our Farm grown operations. “They are great workers and it’s a huge benefit to be able to get the same workers back every year. That’s the main reason we got away from the J-1 internship program. We got good people on those programs, but we could rarely get them back so we were constantly retraining.  Xavier Williams, a second year crew member, said last year that working at Bartlett’s was the best experience of his life and I know they all want to keep coming back so I do believe they are happy with us, too”, says HR Manager, Laura Steele.

Although the guys mostly didn’t know each other before coming to Nantucket, they can frequently be seen joking, laughing, dancing and always smiling on the job. “Returning crew makes running the farm grown operations so much easier,” says Greenhouse Operations Manager, Fernanda Longo. “We are able to keep our quality standards and schedules. That was our focus when we switched. They get the job done, they are not afraid of hard jobs, and they do them with a smile on their faces. The crew we employ are all from Jamaica, their home in the off season and where their families reside. They are to able head home for the winter months, and with the program, return year after year to Bartlett’s where they have job and housing security. We are excited to welcome ten new crew members this year, of which two, Sean and Dwayne, have already arrived. Be sure to say hi whether you see our farm crew in the Market, driving by on their tractors, or when they are out managing our crops in the fields.

3rd season farmers
Jamie Bent
Mickroy Soares
Jason Christie
Owen Robinson
Kemar Falconer
Khade Chambers

2nd season crew
Demitry Schloss
Xavier Williams
Nicholas Nelson
Donnavan Francis

1st season crew so far
Sean Clarke
Dwayne Miller

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