MADEC recently caught up with South Australian local Weylan Gaskin, while he was working in the beautiful Barossa to talk all things harvest work! Weylan who previously worked in a warehouse as a forklift operator, had never looked to harvest work before he found MADEC Harvest Trail Services. MADEC Harvest Trail Services introduced Weylan to his next two roles, one of which he is currently still enjoying! Weylan’s first harvest role as a wine grape picker at Petrucci Contracting really gave him the full harvest experience and ultimately won him over which has seen him continue on his harvest journey to where he currently works at Pitchford Produce vegetable farm.
Were you paid on a piece rate or hourly rate? If you were paid on a piece rate, how did you find it?
My first role as a wine grape picker was paid piece rate. I will say, never having done harvest work before it was tough at the beginning! However, I soon learnt the tips and techniques to become more efficient and make good money!
My current role is paid on an hourly rate, which has also been great. I am of the opinion that the pay rate whether hourly or piece rate comes down to what is on offer, what the commodity is and one’s ability to work hard! If you are willing to work hard, you can make great money in harvest work. I am always happy with either option!
How did you find the working conditions?
I have thoroughly enjoyed both harvest roles and the working conditions throughout the duration of my employment.
Having never worked harvest before I wasn’t sure what to expect, so at my first role picking wine grapes in McLaren Vale when I was working with one of the best bosses that I have ever had, I knew I had made a good choice. He took great care of his whole team and was always there to provide support wherever it was required! He was available, approachable and always willing to listen!
While there was never a day I wasn’t covered in grape juice at the end of the day, it was fun!
At my current role on the vegetable farm, I have found more of the same, great people with a great outlook who treat everyone with care and respect.
Harvest work has been an excellent experience where teamwork is at the forefront.
Is there anything that you have done that you didn’t expect to do?
While I had never done harvest work before, Mark and Julie from MADEC Harvest Trail Services prepared me well for what to expect! By the time I started work and had completed my induction, I knew exactly what was expected.
Is the work harder or what you expected it to be?
Harvest work is what I expected it to be. I have always enjoyed hard work and I like to be committed to whatever I do. Being part of a team who are all committed to working hard and doing the best by each other has been a great experience.
It is no secret that harvest work is physical work but the way I look at it is that I am being paid to keep up my fitness!
What did you enjoy most about working in horticulture?
There are many enjoyable aspects to working in the horticulture industry and I don’t think I could pin this down to one! Working a harvest role, I have met some of the most amazing and fun people and have thoroughly enjoyed the team environment and support.
A big benefit to harvest work is that it is interesting and unique, you get to be outdoors in the fresh air every day and you really get to enjoy being amongst nature seeing all the wildlife!
I also can’t ignore being paid to keep up my fitness!
How was your experience finding a job through MADEC HTS and how could MADEC Harvest Trail Services improve their servicing?
The whole experience has been great. I first heard about MADEC Harvest Trail Services when applying for my first harvest job. MADEC staff member Mark & Julie based in the Adelaide Barossa office were incredibly helpful to me in finding these two harvest roles in an industry I had otherwise never tried! Mark and Julie were open and honest in their communication and the information supplied which prepared me well for what I could expect in a harvest role. I would recommend for anyone who is looking for harvest work to give MADEC Harvest Trail Services a call. The process all the way through from registering, inductions and beginning work was straightforward, the jobs were quite simply lined up for me ready to go!
When asked the question what could MADEC Harvest Trail Services do to improve their servicing? Simple response… how can you improve something that has worked so well!
Would you come back to the region and work in horticulture again?
Having now worked two harvest roles and really getting to experience the horticulture industry I am looking to stay in harvest work for as long as I can! I am enjoying the current role with Pitchford Produce vegetable farm and I look forward to staying on with them as long as I can.
Do you have any advice to give to anyone interested in doing horticultural work?
The best advice I can give to anyone interested in horticultural work is to give it a go!
Australian farmers need locals to stand up and help the harvest their crops.
You will meet great people and experience new things you may never otherwise get to try!