Tom Rivers introduces readers to the rigors of farm labor and some of the people who do the grueling work, including cabbage cutter "King Kong" and apple-picking pro "stretch." You'll also meet the elusive "Joshua," who abandoned the cabbage crew in a huge rainstorm.
About the Author
Albion, NY, United States
Batavia, N.Y. newspaper reporter Tom Rivers (email: watertowertom-at-yahoo-dot-com) wrote a first-person series about farm work in 2008 that won state and national awards. Now the series, with more background and other information, is compiled in this newly released book, Farm Hands: Hard work and hard lessons from Western New York fields. The 168-page book includes 101 pictures. Some of them were not published in the newspaper. Rivers covers agriculture for The Daily News. He said he received good feedback about the newspaper series from readers and farmers, many of whom encouraged him to put the stories in book form. Several farmers have told Rivers they hope the book will gain a wide audience, helping to educate Americans on the challenges of producing food and the grueling work needed to harvest fruits and vegetables.
Praise for Farm Hands…
just finished Tom Rivers' book Farm Hands and am astounded at the real-life feel this book gives to the world of agriculture. Tom has not only been a friend to agriculture by reporting on local events within our community, but by taking a leap out of his comfort zone working as a farm hand, dairy laborer, onion planter, apple picker and cabbage harvester. I have encouraged my colleagues in both the Assembly and Senate to read this book so they understand the real issues farm laborers and farmers face together."--Steve Hawley, NYS Assemblyman
"I received your book yesterday in the mail, opened it up and started reading. Fantastic is all I can say. You have given a terrific insight to the agricultural community and those hard-working immigrants and what a day brings to them...the challenges and the rewards. This industry is so difficult, not only for here but all across the country. My husband brings back fresh produce from California and has to interact with the immigrants also. The first time I went with him I couldn't get over the 'primitive' ways they had to harvest the veggies and fruit. You made me feel like I know those that you worked along side. You also took me back to the days when I was a kid and picked strawberries and blackberries. Oh, how I hated to do that and vowed as an adult I would never do that again!
Tom, congratulations on your book. Thank you for sticking out those long days and 'representing.' It truly is a well-written eye opener to the 'hapless American.'"--Tonya Gens DeLand