Blueberry/Blackberry Worker: Perform manual labor on a mechanical blueberry harvester, pack blueberries, hand-harvest blackberries. Duties include planting, pruning, hoeing and picking up roots. Grade, sort, or classify berries by size, weight, color, or condition. THIS JOB DOES NOT INCLUDE OPERATING OR DRIVING MECHANICAL BLUEBERRY HARVESTER, TRACTOR OR FORKLIFT. Prolonged walking, standing, bending, stooping, and reaching. Job is outdoors and continues in all types of weather. Workers may be requested to submit to random drug or alcohol tests at no cost to the worker. Failure to comply with the request or testing positive may result in immediate termination. All testing will occur post-hire and is not a part of the interview process. Negative result may be required post-hire and before commencing work. Must be able to lift and carry 75 lbs. repetitively throughout the workday. Must not hinder another workers productivity. Use of personal cell phone or other personal electronic device during working hours strictly prohibited except for work-related calls or emergencies and violation may result in immediate termination. Though not a hiring requirement, if a worker drives a company vehicle during the period of employment then at the time of operating the company vehicle the driver must possess a valid drivers license issued by a U.S. state or foreign equivalent and operate the company vehicle in accordance with the license restrictions and vehicle classifications applicable to that license. Requires three months verifiable prior work experience pruning/shearing field-grown blueberry and/or blackberry plants.
Blackberries: This is a very difficult, scratchy job as these are thorny blackberries. Harvest is a difficult, painful job that requires constantly reaching into thorny blackberry plants. Necessary manual dexterity precludes wearing gloves. And significant briar scratches are normal complications. Workers must be diligent to avoid natural complications related to natural hazards, including poison oak, chiggers, and snakes. Workers will bend and stoop to pick blackberries according to size, color, shape and degree of maturity and place into field containers. Workers will be expected to pick fully ripe blackberries, discard any deformed, decayed or undersized berries according to supervisors instructions. Also, workers must carefully remove any undesirable berries from plant that would later cause fungi to attack the plant. Workers will carry 2 full containers with 6,2 qt. baskets in each weighing approximately 12 lbs. each to the field trailer. Workers will properly fill all 2 qt baskets. The workers will take turns transporting blackberries to the cooler, but must transport all fruit to coolers at least hourly. Then the buckets of berries will be inspected for quality and loaded for transportation to roadside market Depending on market demand, workers may also be required to pick blackberries in cups and/or flats. Blackberries harvested specifically for sale at a roadside stand as fresh market specialty basket containers must be field graded. For berries harvested for sale at roadside stands, extra care must be used to ensure that each blackberry is undamaged and perfect. All berries must be handled carefully to prevent bruises or fingernail cuts. Pickers will take extreme care not to damage the delicate berries. Quality and workmanship is of the utmost importance. Workers will also be required to effectively pack blackberries in the coolers to various containers, clamshells, quart and pint containers.
All workers are required to follow common sanitary practices at all times. This is particularly important when touching crops for human consumption. Workers are required to cleanse their hands by washing thoroughly with soap and water before entering field for harvest activities and after each break. Smoking and the use of tobacco products prohibited during working time.