South Africans Coming to South Dakota to Help with Fall Harvest
I recently made a road trip to the Kennebec, Presho area in Central South Dakota. I thought I'd get out and do a little looking for a coyote and some deer scouting for the upcoming season in November.
The weather was perfect, not for hunting, but for just being outside. I did learn a couple of things while I was there. First of all, I learned about an excellent new app for the phone called onX Hunt. It's nice because it shows exactly where you are, and whose land you're on. Which is pretty important when you are out scouting and hunting.
The other thing I picked up on was some area farmers had hired workers from South Africa to help with farming. Yep, the labor crunch that applies to seemingly every store and business here in Sioux Falls even applies to South Africans coming to the States, to help with the harvest in the central part of the state.
Combines still need operators. Grain carts and trucks need drivers to help bring in the fall bounty. I did a little research when I got back to the office and found that it's actually been happening quite a bit here in South Dakota and throughout the midwest.
There are challenges to getting the workers here. First off, it's a 20-hour flight. Then there are work visas. According to Hay and Forage.com;
While workers with an H-2A visa are in America, they aren’t allowed to work for anyone except the farmer who completed the visa application. When the season ends, they are required to return to their own country.
That's just a scratch of the story's surface, but it caught my attention. It seems to work for some operators. When the workers are done, they return to South Africa and start all over again, as their growing season is on the opposite side of the calendar.
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