Susannah Hortado has worked on the packing line for Southern Valley/Hamilton Growers since July 1997. In her initial years at Southern Valley/Hamilton Growers, she says her job was to pack squash, cucumber, and eggplant. However, as our inventory grew over the years, so did her job description.
Susannah now spends her days on the cucumber packing line as well as helping to oversee packing on our squash, pickle, eggplant, and bell pepper lines. Her job in this role is to ensure that the girls on the line are packing the right product for each box specification. She must oversee and train the newer girls and keep a constant eye out on what is going on. Susannah admits that she prefers packing over supervising because there is less stress involved, but her years of experience are needed supervising the line, so that’s where she spends most of her time.
Susannah works an average of 10 hour days with her days often stretching into the nights during the spring and fall seasons. When it’s not busy season, the hours return to a more normal pace. For the months of January, February, and March, she travels back to Mexico where she visits with her parents who still live there. Susannah then returns to Georgia at the end of March/Early April on her H2A temporary guest worker visa.
Susannah says that everyone is like family here, which is good since she and the other girls on the packing line spend many hours working side by side. She jokingly says she spends more time here than at home, so it works out well that they all get along so well. Susannah is just one of the many ladies at Southern Valley/Hamilton Growers who have continued to come back to work on the packing line year after year. We are so thankful for her commitment to us over the past 20 years and for each of the women who work so hard to put quality produce in the box day after day.