Bushel Boy President on Labor Shortage and the Future of Indoor Farming
4 Apr 2021
When Chuck Tryon took over as president of Owatonna-based Bushel Boy Farms in early October 2020, the U.S. was still a couple months away from an approved Covid-19 vaccine. In late November, Minnesota would go on to experience its worst peak of Covid cases.
Like virtually every business at the time, Bushel Boy faced a great deal of uncertainty. But that’s not just because of the pandemic. A more pressing concern? A shortage of workers to staff Bushel Boy’s tomato greenhouses in Greater Minnesota and Iowa. The company has two indoor farming operations: One at its homebase in Owatonna, and another in Mason City, Iowa. In Minnesota, Bushel Boy operates an interconnected network of nine greenhouses.
“Farm labor in the U.S. is a challenge, whether you’re indoors or outdoors,” Tryon said in a recent interview with TCB. “It does cause daily challenges.”