The Hartville Migrant Ministry is a non-profit organization established in the Hartville area in the late 1940’s when the first migrant workers were brought from Jamaica to work on the fertile muck farms. In 1962, the Council was incorporated and formally began assisting seasonal farm workers under the Migrant Health Act of 1962. A building was also purchased, which is still used today, known as the Hartville Migrant Center.
The Hartville Migrant Council, Inc. consists of a Board of Directors, Standing Committees, and Supporters. These members are comprised of volunteers who are committed to provide a Christian ministry to the migratory farm workers and their families in the Hartville area, either directly or in cooperation with churches and other agencies, public or private.
During the annual growing season, a skilled agricultural labor force is needed to plant, tend, and harvest produce from the farms. For many years, migrant and seasonal workers have provided the labor to sustain the productivity of the Hartville farms. At present, more than 350 men and women come to Hartville with their families to work on the farms. The migrants come to Hartville from Mexico, Jamaica, Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana. Typically, these migrants reside in housing provided by the local produce growers from April through October .
Migrant workers are among the most economically disadvantaged and most medically vulnerable groups. The workers and their families benefit greatly from the programs and services provided at the Hartville Migrant Center, located at the heart of the farmland and operated by the Hartville Migrant Council, Inc. The center’s primary role revolves around health services, but it also serves as an educational center, library, and religious gathering place for the migrants.