Vermont Migrant Farmworkers March and Picket for Return of Withheld Pay, 2014


Return of pay for three workers who had quit due to stressful living conditions and withheld pay.
Broadly, a recognition of migrant farmworkers' basic needs.

Time period

15 May, 2014 to 16 May, 2014


United States

Location City/State/Province

Ferrisburgh, VT
Jump to case narrative

Methods in 1st segment

Methods in 4th segment

Methods in 5th segment

Methods in 6th segment

Segment Length

3-5 hours


Workers at Deer Valley Farm


Migrant Justice

External allies

Vermont Public Radio


Ray Brands, Ray Brands' son

Nonviolent responses of opponent

No nonviolent responses of opponent.

Campaigner violence

No campaigner violence.

Repressive Violence

Threat of police violence


Economic Justice



Group characterization

Migrant Farmworkers

Groups in 1st Segment

Workers at Deer Valley Farm (joined)

Groups in 3rd Segment

Migrant Justice (joined)

Groups in 4th Segment

Vermont Public Radio (joined)

Segment Length

3-5 hours

Success in achieving specific demands/goals

6 out of 6 points


1 out of 1 points


2 out of 3 points

Total points

9 out of 10 points

Notes on outcomes

Workers received their withheld pay, and the action contributed to the momentum of other efforts to improve working conditions for migrant farmworkers.

Database Narrative

The St. Albans Cooperative Creamery was a farmer/member-owned milk-processing plant in St. Albans, Vermont (VT) in the United States with a supplying base of 360 farms. Ray Brands owned one of these farms—called Deer Valley Farm—and on 15 May 2014, two immigrant workers at his farm quit due to poor living conditions and Brands’ withholding of paychecks. Earlier that May, another worker quit for the same reasons.

Victor Diaz, one of the workers who quit, recalled, "I came to this farm over two years ago. I lived in that camper with four people. It was so small we couldn't even stretch our legs out when we slept. The roof was leaking and you can see what the bosses [sic] solution was (pointing to the camper). He threw that tarp on top but that kept leaking of course. At one point, we were sleeping with nylon over us so the water would run off us." Other poorly handled repairs included a sewage-backup that Brands solved by rerouting sewage to the surface around the mobile home in which workers were housed.

The day after Diaz and his coworker quit, 16 May, Migrant Justice joined them and other workers at Brands’ farm in Ferrisburgh, VT. Migrant Justice attempted to return pay to all three workers who had walked off that month. Reporters for Vermont Public Radio (VPR), a state-funded nonprofit radio news station, accompanied the group.

Protestors marched from the start of the farm road to the main premises of the farm, where they met the farmer’s son, who threatened to call the police. The protestors returned to the road, where they picketed until Brands finally met with them. The workers and Brands exchanged comments until Brands agreed to write checks for the three who had walked off.

It could not be identified whether or not living conditions improved on Brands’ farm since the protest, but the event stood as a jumping-off point for further pro-worker and pro-migrant actions in the state of Vermont, including Migrant Justice’s Milk With Dignity Campaign.


Vermont Migrant Farmworkers Advocate for Ben and Jerry’s to sign pledge for Milk With Dignity (2)


Anon. n.d. “History.” St. Albans Cooperative Creamery Inc. Retrieved April 10, 2019 (

Anon. 2014. “VT Farmworkers March on Dairy Farm Winning $1800 in Unpaid Wages and Pointing Out Deplorable Housing Conditions.” Migrant Justice / Justicia Migrante, May 16. Retrieved April 10, 2019. (

Evancie, Angela. 2014. “Migrant Workers, Activists Protest On-Farm Living Conditions.” Vermont Public Radio, May 16. Retrieved April 10, 2019. (

Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy

Matt Koucky 28/05/2019