CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — At Vale Wood Farms in Cambria County they might be the first to tell you there’s a major shortage in qualified farm and dairy workers.
“We just had a difficult time trying to find anyone so we’ve switched gears a little bit.” Carissa Itle Westrick, the Farm’s Director of Business Development said.
The shortage started earlier this year and now the farm has come up with an interesting solution to fill those major gaps.
“We’re hiring some high school kids we are really thankful to live in an area where high school kids still want to get that first job experience and we’re really glad to give it to them.” Westrick said.
More than a dozen high school kids are now working part time to help out this historic farm.
They do everything including milking cows, feeding calves, working on a dairy processing plant and loading trucks.
“They’re very enthusiastic to be able to do those jobs.” Westrick said.
The work is strenuous but the kids say they need the money and the farm needs the help together they make the perfect team.
“We honestly could not feed our neighbors without the help of these kids working in a lot of different capacities.” Westrick said.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in a recent report they say farming in the state of Pennsylvania is an $81 billion a year industry.
So these kids quite literally are saving the day.
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