ICE Prompts Hermon Dairy Farm To Lay Off 18 Immigrant Workers

An owner of a large dairy farm in St. Lawrence County says he was forced to lay off 18 immigrant workers.

We’re talking about Gebarten Acres on East DeKalb Road in Hermon.

According to co-owner Greg Coller, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement officials investigated the farm and said those 18 employees did not have proper documentation.

Three more workers left when they heard about it, he said. The workers are from Guatemala and Mexico.

A number of them had worked at the family farm for years. Coller said they are the only workers he can find who will stick with the job of milking the farm’s 2,500 cows.

Now, Coller is struggling to keep those cows milked. Family and friends are pitching in. A group from Fort Drum is coming to serve meals Saturday.

Collar said the immigrant workers were not taken into ICE custody.

7 News has reached out to ICE for comment. A spokesman said, “We will decline to discuss specific investigations.”

1 Comment

  1. Just read the Oct 3 item on Hermon Dairy.

    *Yes, I milk cows on our family farm.
    *We are told that the “family farm model” is not efficient.
    *Yes, we are challenged financially.
    *No, we are not in this together.

    The + 2,000 cow dairies that are more “efficient” should surely pay standard or above standard wages. Or are they “efficient” because they can pay sub-standard wages and housing to “labor” that does not have to follow any community laws?

    Immigrant labor that have followed the laws-rules cannot compete with labor that can continue to operate outside the rules that others follow. Same goes for “home grown” labor.

    “There are more where they came from.”

    So, where does that leave the industry?

    The Hermon Dairy can be a beautiful example. Let’s see how this works out.

    Thank you for your time.

    ~Anonymous

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