Jamaican worker posing for camera

Meet Vivian (Rice), Seasonal Agricultural Worker from Jamaica

My name is Vivian Small, but most people call me Rice. People call me Rice because I eat a lot of rice. I eat rice every night and twice on Sundays! Everyone call me Rice so that’s my name, Rice.

I am from Manchester, Jamaica and I am here as a seasonal worker. I have been coming to Canada for 25 years. I started in Simcoe, then I moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake and now I’ve worked here at Malivoire Winery in Beamsville for nine years now.

The first year I came here was in 1998. I didn’t know the work so the first couple of days it was a bit challenging. One week after I came though, I was catching on fast. By my third year, my boss took me alone in April because he knew I was a hard worker. The rest of the guys didn’t come until June.

This job helped put my children through school. I have nine kids: seven boys and two girls. The first is 33years and the last is 12 years. I have seven grandchildren and I have been married to my wife Nadine for27 years. My grown children are architects, masons and carpenters. My daughter is studying to be a doctor in the States. That is why I am here to get them good schooling; education is important.

I wouldn’t live in Canada. I like to work here and maybe come on vacation but living in Jamaica is just fine. You have to pay lots of bills here that you don’t at home. My wife raise chickens and I raise pigs and goats so I don’t have to buy those things either. When I go home in November, I start to harvest yams and I do that until February. I would definitely rather live in Jamaica but I come back to this farm because it is a good place to work.