“Labor of Love” Comes to the Imperial Valley
By Jim Predmore
“Labor of Love”, which started in Yuma, Arizona has grown to include the Salinas Valley and now has moved into the Imperial Valley. It is put together by the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association and now affiliated with the Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association.
“Labor of Love” is a way to give back to the farm workers who work so hard to provide food for our tables. They are very hard working, loyal, and humble. They work through rough working conditions from mud and rain in the winter to the extreme heat in the summer.
Farm workers from Vessey & Co. line up to receive their lunch and refreshment.
“Labor of Love” partners with local growers to provide breakfast on the
farm for farm crews, random acts of kindness throughout the season, stories of workers through social media and media coverage, featured worker stories on the Labor of Love web site and community involvement.
When Jack Vessey of Vessey and Co. first heard of Labor of Love, he was quick to jump on board and was the very first grower in the Imperial Valley to do so.
Ponciano Vallejo, a 53 year employee of Vessey and Co., is the Labor of Loves highlight employee and will be featured in Labor of Love’s Media Press Release in the coming month.
So at 11a.m. on Tuesday, Jack Vessey had all of the field workers that were out harvesting cabbage stop their work and come over to have an early lunch. He provided burritos for all 70 of them. Each worker received a gift basket with several items included such as Gatorade, chips, cool cups, lotto tickets, and a raffle ticket for some gift cards that would be raffled off. Jack Vessey went out on a limb and told the workers that he would match on any of the lotto tickets if anyone had a winner. One of them got a $10 winning ticket so Jack matched it.
Jack jumped at the chance to get involved with Labor of Love because he loves to do things for his employees that allow him to keep a low profile, stating that “We were born and raised to keep our head in the sand”.
Heather Vessey Garcia, Jack’s sister, said that there were many times that Jack would run through a fast food restaurant and order food for his crews. Jack said that he liked it when he would go to a Jack in the Box by himself and order 100 burgers and they would ask him “Are they for here or to go?” Jack has a great sense of hummer and anyone who knows him has seen that.
Jack had Ponciano Vallejo, a 53 year employee of Vessey and Co., to be the Labor of Love highlight employee. There were several questions that were asked of Ponciano. One question asked was “What do you think of Vessey & Co. as an employer?” He stated “They are the best in the nation.”
The kick of Labor of Love in the Imperial Valley was a big hit for the employees of Vessey & Co. with several other growers waiting to jump on board for future events.