ORONO, Maine — In response to questions from Maine’s agricultural producers on area wages, pay, and benefits, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Association developed a survey for farmer owners with employees that went out statewide this past March. Responses were due by April 2.
“Farmers had no way of knowing if the wages and benefits they were offering farm workers are competitive,” says Tori Jackson, UMaine Extension professor of agriculture and natural resources. “In this tight job market, these are critical pieces of information for farm business owners and managers to have access to.”
During the brief survey period, 86 farmers responded with complete information. Jason Lilley, Extension agriculture professional in Cumberland County said, “We developed the survey as a result of questions and requests from several farmers, and farm producer associations. We hope to expand on this pilot study and conduct a wages and benefits survey on a regular basis so Maine producers can make informed decisions.”
The survey was distributed through mailing lists as well as other agricultural service provider agencies and grower associations throughout the state. The survey results include average pay rates and benefits offered across the state, regionally, and among small fruit and vegetable operations and potato producers.
“This data is meeting a real need for farmers in Maine,” says Leslie Forstadt, Extension human development specialist. “We are getting a picture of wages, benefits, and the creative ways farmers support those who work for farms.”
View the full results on the 2021 Maine Farm Worker Compensation Survey webpage. Find more information on the Extension Maine Farmer Resource Network website or contact 207.353.5550, firstname.lastname@example.org.
–University of Maine Cooperative Extension
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