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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Immigration raids changed life for Mich. producer

    Tom Quaife, Editor, Dairy Herd Network | Updated: February 16, 2012

    They were put on probation and fined $2.7 million for hiring illegal immigrant workers. Now, they are shying away from Hispanic workers and requiring all job applicants to go through E-Verify.

    Things haven’t been the same at Aquila Farms in Bad Axe, Mich., since the first of three immigration raids in May 2007. At various times, the farm owners were held hostage in their own backyard, jailed, had their computers seized, and charged with employing illegal aliens.

    “The last time, they came in with a helicopter and tank to pick up me and my wife,” John Verhaar told a World Ag Expo seminar audience on Wednesday.

    Eventually, their attorneys negotiated a plea deal and the Verhaars were placed on probation and ordered to pay a $2.7 million fine. Read more. Federal agents can come onto their farm unannounced at any time and check to see who is working there.

    That is why they had to start hiring Anglos, despite the difficulty many dairies have in retaining Anglo workers once they are hired. Initially, “we had to go through 150 (job applicants) to get 20 decent people we could trust somewhat,” Verhaar says. Some of those people are still there.

    The Verhaars are also looking into robotic milking systems.

    Asked what advice he has for farms that are still hiring Hispanics, Verhaar told Dairy Herd Network in the video interview above, “Know what you’re doing. Be very careful, because it could be a disaster.”

    Aquila Farms milks 2,500 cows.

    One Old Vet

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    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Who wrote this? Who call US citizens "anglos"?

    The Verhaars are also looking into robotic milking systems.
    It seems that the Verhaars had to use and pay legal labor instead of illegal slave wages.

    The robotic systems don't talk back, don't requre FICA payments and cash under the table and they won't cost a 2.7 million dollar fine fo using them

  3. #3
    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newmexican View Post
    Who wrote this? Who call US citizens "anglos"?



    It seems that the Verhaars had to use and pay legal labor instead of illegal slave wages.

    The robotic systems don't talk back, don't requre FICA payments and cash under the table and they won't cost a 2.7 million dollar fine fo using them
    Sounds like he could have saved himself a lot of heartache by going with the robotic system in the first place. Bet the 2.7 million fine he's now paying would have payed for the robotic system.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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    Super Moderator imblest's Avatar
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    I really don't like his refering to all US citizens as "Anglos." While many of us are of Anglo-Saxon descent, many more are not! Even if Verhaar used the term "anglos,' the article author should not have.
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