BY MARGARET GOSS
Chrislo Mathee, a 53-year-old farmer from Bloemfortein, South Africa is once again working the wheat harvest with the Bill Stevens Custom Cutting Crew from Nebraska. This is his third time to work in harvest in the US. He is one of the truck drivers. There are five other crew members from South Africa with this operation.
The South African workers are able to find employment opportunities on-line. He pays his own travel expenses and must have a work visa. He has a US drivers license as well as a South African license. They work with an agency that helps secure agriculture opportunities. There are many workers who come to the US to work in agriculture.
Mathee was raised on a farm and is a small farmer. He has other workers on his farm where he raises wheat, corn, barley and Angus cattle. He is engaged to a teacher. US agriculture offers better opportunities to get ahead. His family supports this work situation.
Bloemfortein, where he grew up, is a large town with a population of about 80,000. Schools have been closed because of Covid-19 and their political leader wants to close them again. He indicated the political situation has been unstable recently.
Mathee enjoys working for Bill Stevens and enjoys working in harvest. This gentle, well-mannered farmer puts in long, hard hours but is grateful for the work opportunities!
Margaret Goss is a Carmen Correspondent for the Cherokee Messenger & Republican. The newspaper is seeking correspondents from other towns within Alfalfa County.
If you are interested in becoming a correspondent contact the Cherokee Messenger & Republican at 580-596-3344 or stop by our office at 216 South Grand Avenue in Cherokee for more information.