Bobalu Berry Farms hosted an employee celebration last Friday to mark the official end of the 2020 fresh strawberry season in Santa Maria. Bobby and RC Jones took the opportunity to host their annual end of season party following through with a raffle of two new cars for their loyal employees.
Labor is always a challenge for strawberry farmers, and this year added another level of challenges as Bobalu and other farmers shifted their growing operations, training and food safety practices to focus on health and wellness of their employees during the Pandemic.
“There is always strong demand for the best employees and we deeply appreciate the caliber of employees we have on staff here. Many have been with our family for more than 40 years and we value their commitment to us. We also respect and care for them like family, and so many others that return year after year” says RC Jones, managing partner. RC & his brother Bobby work hard to build loyalty and they both enjoy showing their appreciation for the excellent work force they have on their team.
During the middle of summer harvest, company partners announced the raffle that would be held at the end of the season for those employees that stayed with the company throughout the entire season with a chance to win a new car. This is the third year owners have provided this additional incentive to their employees as a way to encourage them to stay throughout the season so they can rely on the much needed labor to end the harvest and get the company through the planting process for the upcoming year.
Typically, the event has much more in-person fanfare to acknowledge employees for the hard work all season long. This year, instead of the large party with all employees enjoying a BBQ and live music, a local radio station helped provide a virtual event with prizes, music, and announcements for each employee to tune-in and hear the results from their location.
At the end of the day, Bobalu employees Guillermo and Eva both drove new cars off the ranch parking lot. RC was pleased to be able to award the cars to employees that have both been with Bobalu since the company started in Santa Maria several years ago.