Georgia Program Replaces Migrant Farm Workers With Ex-Cons

Georgia Program Replaces Migrant Farm Workers With Ex-Cons

Recent immigration crackdowns in Georgia have left the agricultural sector with a labor shortage. A big one. An unscientific poll puts the gap as high as 11,000 workers, but plants still have to be harvested. The governor responded to farmers’ complaints with a new program that puts people on probation to work in the fields at minimum wage, with bonuses for high production. This seems like an ideal match: probationers have a higher unemployment rate than the general population, and farmers need people in the fields. It turns out, though, that hard work, hot weather, low pay, and inexperienced workers don’t make for a very bountiful harvest. [More]