US Animal Agriculture Worker Shortage: Now Prisoners Pulled In To Do The Job

Inmates are being trained to do the jobs the vast majority of Americans don't want to do
Dairy farms are struggling to find enough workers

“If you think a millennial in this country is going to work in a stinky chicken farm six days a week for up to 12 hours a day in triple digit temperatures, it’s not going to happen.” 

So said Jim Manos, Chief Financial Officer of Hickman’s Family Farms in Buckeye - a facility that processes a staggering three-quarters-of-a-million eggs per hour.

He was speaking at the recent annual meeting of the Agribusiness & Water Council of Arizona in Tempe, during which three industry experts gave talks under the title of 'What We Need In Comprehensive Immigration Reform'.

Poor prospects

The speakers were all in agreement about one thing: it is becoming more and more difficult to find people willing to work in agriculture. Fewer people are interested in working in the dairy and egg industries.

Manos added: "It’s not necessarily that the people aren’t available, it’s that they don’t want to work, or at least work for us.

"So we need to change our thinking about how we can guarantee a labor pool."


Paul Rovey, a dairy operator from Glendale who represents the United Dairymen of Arizona, added: "In the dairy industry, we’ve already moved through a workforce crisis that has now achieved the level of a catastrophe.

"Over half of the U.S. dairy farm labor pool is comprised of foreign-born workers and our industry today cannot operate without immigrant workers."  
According to industry insiders, the majority of Americans don't want to work in agriculture


To address the crisis, Wisconsin state’s Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch is spearheading an initiative which sees prison inmates undertake an eight week training program created through a partnership between the department of corrections and Moraine Park Technical College.

Participants are reportedly taught how to raise calves, grow crops to feed cows and the basics of dairy farm operations. 

Wisconsin Department of Corrections Secretary, Jon Litscher, said: "We know that if they have gainful employment and employment where people want those skills they have a better chance at success as it relates to reintegration into their communities."

But will this address the issue longterm? As Rovey says: "Despite unemployment rates, we can’t find enough American workers to fill our job needs—they’re just not interested in working on a dairy farm."


Sickening Undercover Pig Farm Footage Shows 'Vision Of Hell'

Workers Fired After Undercover Video At Chicken Farm Shows 'Sadistic' Abuse

We Animals' New Undercover Film Shows Brutal Reality Of Farmed Chickens' Lives

Reuse this contentBack to top of the page
PBN Contributor:

Some of our articles are published as a team, which means the article has been produced by a collection of people rather than one author. If you have any questions regarding what is written above please contact us.

Since you're here...
...we’ve got a small favour to ask. Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week across Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, our weekly newsletter and this website. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure.

support our work

Join the conversation

Get updates from Plant Based News
For stories you need to read, in one handy email. Get our newsletter in your inbox every week.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form

You may also like:

July 17, 2017

Ben & Jerry's Vegan Ice Cream To Launch In UK

The brand has confirmed their non-dairy treats will be available overseas

July 21, 2017

Vegan Beyond Burger Comes to Movie Theatres In US

A famous chain is testing the patty - with potential plans to serve it in cinemas across the States

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

Follow us on social media: