Good Fruit Grower

May 1

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Page 12 of 47 Good Fruit Grower MAY 1, 2015 13 care and the extent of child care need and demand from employees. "A number of programs, like Migrant Head Start, cater to the needs of field workers by having early hours and are located in rural areas," Gempler said. "But do we have enough and are they in the right locations? Do farmworker families know about the resources available? We're trying to determine why failures occur." As part of the needs assessment, they've already found that some rural areas no longer have farmworker child care programs due to funding cuts. "There's widespread demand for child care in rural areas," he said. "It's not just farm workers who need child care. It's also office workers in packing houses and owners and operators of farms." Gempler learned from interviews that the vast major- ity of child care is provided by "FFN" (family, friends, and neighbors). In many cases, such child care is not licensed, and providers don't have the resources for an educational component. "Unfortunately, child care given by FFN often results in children parked in front of the television." Education is highly valued by farm worker parents, according to Growers League data. "When given the option, they would prefer that their children have early education and learn to speak English before entering school," he said. "Early education is something that will benefit our communities and is an aspect that's import- ant to the Yakima Valley orchardist that we are working with." (The orchardist was not identified.) After the Growers League identifies where child care needs are, opportunities that exist, and a cost analysis of different options, the ultimate goal is to augment exist- ing services and help create more child care facilities. For example, growers could cooperatively work together with churches in rural areas to create new programs. "We want to bring employers, employees, and com- munities together," he said. "There's a lot of common need and concern, and we want to help them recognize opportunities. It's all part of investing in and maximizing our domestic work force." Gempler says it's also one of the responsibilities of growers who have turned to the federal H-2A guest- worker program to fill their farm employment needs. A key requirement of the H-2A program is that grow- ers must first prove through recruitment efforts that domestic workers are not willing and available. "The H-2A program is a real necessity for agriculture, and it will continue to be used, but domestic workers are not only the majority of our work force, they are a key source of potential new workers," said Gempler. "We need to do a better job of recruiting domestic workers and enable them to work in agriculture." • Inspire Development Center in Grandview, Washington, serves children of farm worker families in the lower Yakima Valley. PHOTOS BY TJ MULLINAX/GOOD FRUIT GROWER Let it rain Better Performance, Fewer Applications Better Cherries. New Enhanced Formulation Parka + is a trademark of Cultiva. SureSeal is a trademark of Oregon State University. Always read and follow label directions. ©2015 Cultiva. You know PARKA took cherry cracking suppression to a new level –– Now, based on 8 years of continued research from Cultiva and Oregon State University, new PARKA + takes rain cracking protection to an even higher level. Don't let Mother Nature split your profits. PARKA + forms a food grade, transparent and tasteless barrier that has been shown to reduce rain cracking by up to 50%. The unique elasticity of PARKA + allows a simple 2 application program starting at straw color while avoiding reactive sprays closer to harvest. Save time, money and headaches. Call your retailer to reserve your Parka + today. Another innovation from Cultiva, the people who bring you Pomcho ™ and BluGuard ™ . 888.638.1955 • • Parka+ Good Fruit Grower_6.75 x 6.5_Layout 1 3/23/15 11:17 AM Page 1 EMSPRING BENEFITS ADVISORS Isn't it time to get strategic about your employee benefits plan? B E L L E V U E | YA K I M A | S P O K A N E Pat Leahy, MBA 877-550-0088 ext 107

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