In the middle of retirements, sanding, and the winter flood, our team is also working on training. Supervisor Tim Bourgeois started with us at the beginning of September, and is taking on increasing responsibility as the year goes on!
Tim, who comes to us with twelve years of agriculture experience, has been doing a variety of tasks since his start date three months ago. “I primarily started out helping Mike [Haines] and Jeremy [Fenstermaker] with the fertilizer applications. I also got to work a bit with the irrigation system, along with occasionally driving a truck or a Hydrema.” Not long after that, harvest started, and Tim jumped right in! “I was on Matt’s crew, mostly driving while hauling berries, but I did every task on that crew at least once. It was interesting to be among the first to learn about the bogside cleaner, too…working through all the bugs, all the trial and error involved.”
More recently, Tim has been on Matt’s sanding crew, and this week, he started learning the most crucial job in cranberry farming. “I started learning the water with Bill on Monday,” he says. “Learning where it’s coming from, where it has to go, and all of the things to go along with that.”
His interest and enthusiasm has not gone unnoticed. “Tim joined the team at one of our busiest times, harvest, and energetically jumped in to help,” says COO Bryan vonHahmann. “Since he was working on getting his CDL, he started off on our harvest team that used the new bog side cleaner driving a semi to the cleaning station. He kept his cool driving an 18 wheeler on dams that were not much wider than the truck. This trend of jumping in and helping out wherever help is needed continues. He’s done a variety of work, including learning how to manage the water, and will soon start training as the lead in all that is related to our fertilizer applications, managing the airstrip as well as all ground applications. He’s has been a great addition to our team, and we’re looking forward to working with him for a long time.”
“I don’t have a favorite job yet,” Tim says. “It’s all been interesting. Working with the water is especially challenging; the whole farm is a chessboard, where you have to get water from one side to the other and keep moving pieces around. It’s a fascinating process!” He’s particularly looking forward to being here throughout the entire growing season. “I can’t wait to see it from the beginning.” He’s also pleased about meeting more people within the industry: “It’s going to be great meeting all the Rutgers researchers, and the folks from Ocean Spray too, so I can learn more about how everything’s tied in. I’ve always enjoyed going to different grower meetings, learning what’s new and what’s coming up…just exchanging ideas with people doing the research.”