Harvest is a hectic time for producers and help is at a premium. That’s why many bring in farmhands from other countries.
Enrique Reyes Vilvre is from Cuba and helps on the Bachman farm north of Chamberlain. This is his 13th year coming to Canada to help with harvest.
In Cuba, Reye Vilvre is an agronomist but mostly works in smaller gardens. He said you can’t even compare farming in Canada to farming in Cuba.
He said back home they mostly plant tropical foods, and the technology is completely different.
“Remember Canada back in history in 1901? That's what we do in Cuba. We are still plowing with bulls, we do everything by hand. Some farms may have some more technology but nothing like Canada. This is high-tech,” Reye Vilvre said.
He explained that he doesn’t talk much about his experiences in Canada to friends and family back home as he can technically get into trouble in communist Cuba.
Even when he does get a chance to talk to friends about farming in Canada, it is hard to explain to them that the technology is different.
“When I tell them I can seed a half a section a day 'No, that's too much.' Yeah, but I work 24 hours if I have to. 'No, no, you can't do that. That's impossible.' I can seed 7,000 acres in 20-some days. 'Oh, that's impossible.' For us, we are such small farmers, it is impossible, technically, in Cuba to do that,” Reyes Vilvre explained.
When it comes to Saskatchewan weather, Reye Vilvre said he gets the best of both worlds as he usually comes up as the weather is getting warmer and heads back to Cuba as winter hits.
He said when he started 13 years ago his time in Canada was limited because he was on a work visa, but it is a lot easier now.
“Now I'm a permanent resident so I'll be here March 30 until the end of November sometimes. It depends on the weather. If the weather smartens up you can do more jobs in the fall so you stay here longer,” he said.
But when it comes to farming, Reyes Vilvre said he loves it and says it is very rewarding work.
“Farming is an awesome job. It's difficult, it's dangerous, it's a lot of income put into the farming business, but we are feeding the world. That is very important,” he said.
As for his favourite crop, he said he loves combining wheat because of its golden-yellow colour and you can get more bushels and fill up the combine faster.
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