Harvest Support Usa Uk is run by Paul & Mary Hore who work with Custom Harvest Crews throughout the USA & Canada to provide staff from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe. Harvest-Support was set up by Paul Hore who has spent the last 30+ years involved with the Great American Harvest.
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Custom Harvest Crews are contractors which work from Texas in the South going North to the Canadian boarder and in some cases into Canada, harvesting the crops which feeds the world. The crews spend 7-8 months harvesting crops such as wheat and canola in the spring, then crops such as corn in the fall. More about Custom Harvesting
The main roles within the crew are combining, chaser bin and truck driving. Accommodation will be provided with good quality trailers
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We will help you get placed into a harvest crew, from getting you a role, to helping with your visa
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Here are the most frequently asked questions, but if you have a question which is not answered here, feel free to contact us
Both the combine and chopping crews can take up to 9 months. Most crews like their staff to fly in by the 2nd-3rd week of April so they have time to get settled into the harvest life before harvest starts mid-May, however a couple of crews like to start mid-March to help with spring seeding.
Harvest generally ends around Thanks Giving which is the 3rd week in November, but it could go into early December depending on the year.
There are two types of visa's, there is H2A and J1
H2A is a working visa that you can have for up to 9 months, you can also get this visa extended and you can come back the following year on another H2A
J1 is an education visa, this visa will be gained going through a university in the USA, Harvest Support Usa Uk work with MAST International (University of Minnesota). There is an upper age limit to this visa of 30 years old and you can only have this visa once.
We work with crews that use either one or both of these visa's, so you have the option to choose which visa is best for you.
Yes and No.
With a H2A visa, you will have to pay for your visa interview ($180) and your flights to the USA, however after 3-6 months working, you will get your flight out and visa fees repaid to you. Some crews we work with will pay flights upfront but that’s usually for people returning a 2nd season.
J1 works a little different from the H2A. There will be more cost involved as it’s an education visa, which could be up to $1500 before flights but the crews we do work with are very good generally and will make sure you will not be out of pocket.
Harvest Support Usa Uk will not charge you any fees for placing you with a crew, we get paid by the harvester we place you with, and if we cannot place you, you are not out of pocket.
Yes all crews we work with will provide accommodation, this could be a house when working from their base, if not it will be their well-equipped living trailers, and some crews live in Hotels when on the road but this is not common.
Most crews we work with provide 1 HOT evening meal, some will do Breakfast, and provide a pack lunch during harvest, otherwise there will be access to a kitchen to allow you to provide for yourself with these meals. Some crews do deduct a little from your pay for meals.
Those crews that don’t cook will provide a food allowance, i.e. crew boss has a company card to purchase food. Either way you will be fed….well.
Yes, all employee’s will have to complete the Commercial driving License (CDL) this is so you can drive trucks and pickups in a commercial business, to do this you will need to gain your social security number (much like our NI number), you will also have to pass a drug test which is a urine test. You will need to hold a full licence in your country of origin however to be able to undertake your CDL.
When you first arrive in the USA, the season wont have started yet. You should be prepared to help getting machinery together ready for the season. This may include putting equipment together, working on trucks, painting, polishing, sweeping, welding, grinding, etc.
Yes and No
No… all the time you are working you will be covered by your employer with workman’s comp insurance.
Yes… when you are in your own time, say you’re out with the boys and you fall of a motorbike and break your arm, you’re going to need your own cover to get medical help,
We have known crews help guys, even though they are not at work and something happens, because they are very important as a crew member so they will make sure they are looked after.
Pay is worked out depending on the state your employer is working in during harvest as each state has a different pay scale, some could be $12 others could be $19 hour, most crews will pay a salary no less than $2500 month but could be higher. Its also important to remember that on top of this pay, you are fed and watered and you have no outgoing expense. This means you do pretty well from the harvest, but it is important to be aware that custom harvesting is more for the experience, rather than the financial gains.
With regards on accessing money, each crew will help set you up with a bank account so you will receive a credit/debit card and your pay will then be paid to your account, so then you’re not trying to cash a cheque to get money.
*The finer points of pay we advise you to talk to your future employer as each crew works slightly differently
So, there will be times when the weather is not playing ball or the crop is not ready, so the first thing that happens in down time is service and repairs to machines, once these are all done, it's time to get laundry done, go to town and shop, Walmart will be your go to store most of the time, you can get just about everything you need.
The crew will be great hosts and will take you to the mountains or lakes, cook outs, some farmers may have boats and do water sports, but you will get to visit great places when on harvest, most crews will be happy to lend a pickup to go to town but don't abuse this privilege, crews don't like to see their pickup outside bars, but drinking generally is allowed but in moderation, and some crews have a no smoking policy
Yes, your British or European phone will work in the USA, you may need to notify your airtime provider you're going to the USA and maybe adjust your contract. 4G/5G are generally across the Midwest now so Internet will be good.
Roaming is expensive so the alternative and cheaper is to purchase a pay as you go phone in the USA from Walmart or cellphone store and go on an all-inclusive tariff which may only be $40 month or purchase a SIM only card.
McDonalds, Walmart, Hotels, large stores generally have free Wi-Fi that you can latch onto to save you money if you don't get an unlimited sim.
Yes, you can take these, you may have to carry the battery with you when you fly in your cabin bag, check with your airline before flying. What I never did on my first harvest was take lots of pictures of the people I worked with, I wish that I had as they've been the people that made harvest for me. Also, when you travel home be sure to keep the SD cards on your person so if your bag did get lost you don't lose all those memory's, or upload them to the cloud for extra safety before leaving.
It is worth noting that you should go easy with the camera/drone until you have settled in and be prepared to put them down if you need to concentrate. Last thing you want is to break something because you were too occupied on taking Images/Videos, rather than concentrating on what you are doing, especially when you've only just arrived.