WGXC-90.7 FM

Germantown farm gets money for worker housing

Jul 31, 2023 12:45 pm

Jammel Cutler reports in Columbia-Greene Media that the Columbia County Farmworker Housing Program awarded Klein’s Kill Fruit Farms Corporation in Germantown $250,000 to improve housing conditions for its farm workers. The program replaces existing farm worker housing where workers lived in such close quarters that COVID infections could be spread. Now 14 farm workers from Jamaica will share the new housing that features two kitchens, six bedrooms and three bathrooms. Russell Bartolotta, president and CEO of Klein’s Kill Fruit Farm, said, “You can only put so many people in it.... We went by the regulations of the state for how many men we can put in there. Some guys have been coming here for 25 years. I know them like I know my relatives, guys that are in their 50s now. I have known them since they were in their 20s. We have the same worker retention year after year. They want to come back. Their heat, electricity and rent are paid for. It costs $1,400 a man to fly them back and forth. We have to pay for their visas.” Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.

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