Photo by Beth Gibson

The Western Montana Freelance Farmhands is a listing of experienced farm workers who have been recommended by a previous employer in the region. These workers can be contacted about short term work opportunities on farms and ranches in Western Montana. This shared pool of workers provide farmers and ranchers easy access to experienced workers who can assist regular staff for short-term projects.

The List shares farm worker information among farmers in Missoula, Lake and Ravalli counties. The Community Food and Agriculture Coalition hopes to build a management guide for this tool to share with other farm regions after the 2018 season. If you have any questions or are interested in more information about the tool, contact Dave.

 

Qualifications

To be included in the list, workers must be recommended by a farmer that has previously employed that worker. The farmer can be contacted as a reference or to learn more about the worker’s specific experience. Farmers should only refer workers that have their own transportation.

Farmers and Ranchers are expected to utilize the list as it is intended, as a shared, supplemental labor resource. Workers should be scheduled on an as-needed basis, and mangers are asked to share worker resources for the benefit of the group and the workers that participate. Remember that access to sufficient work throughout the season, is a foundational element of a stable and skilled agriculture labor force. By sharing worker information, we can all help create a more abundant farm worker resource in Western Montana.

Accessing the List

If you would like to utilize the list to share and access workers, fill out the Pop Up Farmhands Application.

You will receive a link to the Freelance Farmhands List Page. This page includes a link to the worker submittal form and the shared list. Please only access the tools via the User Page, so that we can track the amount and timing of the tools use.

Use the list to contact workers that have indicated availability in your area.

Submitting WOrkers

By sharing worker information among farms, we can all work together to create more stable work opportunities for the skilled farm workers in our communities. When workers can reliably expect work on multiple farms, it reduces the need to find other work that may not allow for farm work in their schedule.

Once your application has been processed, you can use the Freelance Farmhand Submission Form to add a worker to the list. Work hosts should have permission of person they’re recommending.

CFAC staff will be notified when a new name is submitted to the list. Staff will call worker to confirm that they understand how the list works and that they are comfortable having name and contact information shared with others on list.

During this short intake phone call, staff will confirm the worker’s general availability, any blocks of time (≥ 1 week) during which the worker will be unavailable, and geographic ranges they are willing to travel.

Once confirmed, all information will be copied into the Freelance Farmhand List shared with participating farmers and ranchers.

All workers will be contacted at the beginning of the season to see if they want to remain on the list. Anyone not reached in 2 attempts will be removed from list.

Want to be a Freelance Farmhand?

If you would like to be added to the freelance farmhand list, talk to a farmer that you have previously worked for about having your listing submitted. If you have any questions about the process, contact the list manager.