ABOUT Detasseling, by adam
Detasseling corn is a great first job for a teenager. It rarely conflicts with school, sports, or driver’s ed. Unless there are performance issues, friends are often allowed to work together. Detasselers have an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends in the field; many of these friendships last well beyond July. Detasseling is hard work but is very rewarding so it helps build a strong work ethic. It’s an experience no Iowa teenager should go without!
I have been detasseling corn since 1996. I enjoy the work; it’s rewarding for me to help young people develop good work habits. The rest of the year I work for UPS. I live with my wife and two daughters in Cedar Rapids.
Detasseling will start around July 10th and end around July 31st. The fields we work in are located just south of Waterloo, usually a 45-60 minute drive from Cedar Rapids. Detasselers are expected to ride the bus to and from the field. Our crew has three pickup locations: Kirkwood building in Hiawatha, Daniels Park in Cedar Rapids, and Wilson School in Cedar Rapids. The bus will usually leave around 5:00 AM and return by mid-afternoon, depending on how much work our crew has.
We work rain or shine, 7 days a week. In the event of dangerous weather, we will postpone our work. If we are in the field when dangerous weather strikes, we will sit on the bus and workers will be paid for this time.