Farm workers are on the cusp of a golden age.
For those looking to take a step forward, there are many things that can be improved.
Nova Scotia Farm Workers Union president and executive director Steve Mould said that he’s been impressed with the efforts of workers in the dairy industry.
Mould says that workers are doing the right thing by the farmers, and the farm insurance agency is also helping.
“It’s not about the farmers or the insurance companies, but it’s about the people that we’re working with,” said Mould.
“I’m not sure if it’s the same with the insurance company, but the people here are doing a good job.”
There are now nearly 20 dairy farms across Nova Scotia.
The province of Nova Scotia has about 300 dairy farms and about 700,000 cattle.
Milling is the backbone of the industry, but some farmers say the industry has taken a hit because of the price of milk and the lack of competition.
The new rules have been introduced in 2017 to help workers.
The rules require employers to provide a minimum of $1,500 in benefits for employees and $10,000 for retirees, and it also requires employers to pay a $2,500 annual premium for employees, $1 for retirees and $1 per year for workers who are under 65 years old.
Mellow says that the province is working to improve worker health, including the expansion of dental insurance for employees.
The government says it will be working to increase the cost of milk, but Mould believes the industry is already moving in the right direction.
“The dairy industry has been around for a long time, it’s been in existence for a while and it’s not just a new thing,” said Matt Davenport, president of the Nova Scotia Dairy Industry Association.
“They’re starting to get into it and it’ll continue to be there for a very long time.”
Davenports said that workers have been making a lot of progress in the past five years.
“A lot of the people working in the industry are just doing it for the love of it.
They’re just doing the best they can to help their employer,” said Davens.
Daven Port said that it’s time to let workers know that they are valued.
“You’ve got to know that it is a hard job, you’ve got the opportunity to make a lot more money in the future and you have a lot to give,” said Port.
“As long as people are making it a great job, it is just a great place to live, and we can continue to grow and prosper.”