When Joseph Hackett first came to Canada as an international farm worker in 2004, he only intended it as a one-time job. But owner Charles Stevens and his family at Wilmot Orchards made him feel so much at home that he has been coming back every year since.
In fact, it’s the family atmosphere he likes the most about his job. That, and his social life outside the farm. Through Charles, Joseph has become a member of the local Lion’s Club. He is also an avid cyclist and helps to raise money every year through the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a two-day bike ride in support of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the top five cancer research centres in the world. Last year, Joseph was awarded a Gold Helmet from the race organizers for having completed the ride 5 times.
Joseph’s children are now all grown up, but he’s happy that his farm income continues to support a better standard of living for himself and his family, with whom he keeps in touch regularly. He talks to his wife on the phone every day, and video chats with his daughter and grandson 3 to 4 times per week.
Joseph says, “When you come into a country as a stranger, and you are treated the way we are treated, there’s nothing more to say except thanks for having us here and for giving us the opportunity to do the things that we’ve done.”
But we feel like we are the ones who should be thankful. It’s because of Joseph, and other international farm workers like him, that we get to enjoy fresh and local fruits and vegetables as Canadians.
Thank you, Joseph, for being part of our community and for doing the work that you do.