Meet the Farm Hands team …..
walter conlon, founder and president
Walter Conlon, our president, retired from his long time practice of law in Muscatine, Iowa, in 2012. He graduated from Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa, in 1969, and from the University of Iowa Law School in 1975. He served in the Iowa legislature from 1977-1982.
In his spare time, Walter loves to visit relatives and friends in Ukraine and around the world and to play his French horn in the local symphony orchestra and community band. He helped to set up a Sister City relationship between his home town and Drohobych in Ukraine, and is involved in delegation exchanges between these cities to further economic progress.
Walter’s passion is to work with people of all walks of life, so that they may develop their talents and enterprises while fulfilling their goals and objectives. This has spread to the agriculture industry, where he sources willing and energetic Ukrainian individuals to work seasonally in the U.S.A. These workers gain from the experience and money working in a foreign country, while helping farmers to obtain the necessary manual work they need to make their businesses successful. Let Walter and his team show you how we can support your business!
OLENA BILETSKA, UKRAINIAN RECRUITING
Olena works as an English teacher in Lviv, Ukraine. She met Walter Conlon, the founder of Farm Hands, in 2003 during a visit to the USA on a professor exchange between Drohobych Teacher Training University and Eastern Iowa Community Colleges. Since then they met a few times in Ukraine and during one of his visits Walter suggested starting Farm Hands as a project to help cooperation between American farmers and Ukrainian agricultural workers.
The USA and Ukraine have a lot in common, and one of these similarities lies in the countries’ interest in agriculture. Since America’s earliest days, farming has held a major place in the country’s economy. Agriculture has always been one of Ukraine’s main fields of economy too, due to the country’s geographical position, climate, and the high density of population in rural areas. Ukrainians have always been a nation emotionally attached to the soil and even urban dwellers tend to spend their free time growing vegetable and fruit gardens in their dachas (suburban summer cottages) or just planting flowers in balcony gardens or flower-beds. No wonder one can find a Ukrainian teacher, doctor, engineer or office clerk planting, weeding, sowing or gathering the crops as part of spring, summer or fall weekend routine.
When Walter asked Olena to recruit Ukrainian workers for seasonal jobs on American farms, she decided to give it a try. Since 2017, 7 Ukrainian workers have successfully participated in the program and are currently working on farms in the USA. We hope cooperation between the 2 countries will be fruitful in the future, too.
Family members also help in the business, through connecting with farmers who may be looking for help, and assisting in all administration, logistical and customer support functions.