About Holloway's Detasseling
My name is Matt Holloway and I was an agricultural contractor for
Pioneer Hi-Bred between 1989 and 2010. After the 2010 season I retired
from this business. I started corn detasseling, like most everyone,
when I was 13 years old, and I did this for three summers. I then became a
crew leader or supervisor and did this for 5 summers, after which time I
was given the opportunity to become a contractor for Pioneer.
I started out small those first few years, hiring around 50 to 70 workers.
Now I hire over 300 workers every summer for the corn detasseling work.
Most of the workers are 13 to 15 years old, with the adults acting as tractor
drivers and crew leaders ( or supervisors ).
With such a large number of workers, people often ask me how do I manage them all. Each worker is
placed in a crew; which is composed of 13 to 17 detasselers, a tractor driver and a crew leader
(supervisor). Most of the time the crew leader has worked for me for several years and is now old
enough to be a supervisor. This is a person I have been able to watch over the years as they did the
detasseling and I know is capable of doing the job as supervisor. I have between 14 and 16 crews to start
with and I also use what I call field managers, these are two other people that help me keep every thing
My goal for all workers is to have a great time, or as good as can be expected. I hope every one learns
a good work ethic. I treat all the workers with the same respect that I would expect, and try to get to
know them more than just a name on a time card.
Corn detasseling is not a job for every one, but the only way to find out if it is a job for you is to try it.
As long as you are 13 years of age or older and are a legal resident of this country you are able to work.
I encourage all workers that sign up to give it there best shot, but again it can be a very difficult and hard
job at times. And at other times it may seem very easy. Some people find this job relatively easy and
others find it the hardest job they have ever done in their life.
I hope that every one that works has a good experience and learns what a good days work is. I try to
teach people a good work ethic and when you start something to set out to finish it, no matter how hard
or difficult it may seem. A since of accomplishment and being able to finish out the season mean a lot
to me and often mean even more to the workers and parents.
I ask that each detasseler work each day that is requested, show respect to crew leaders and fellow
detasselers, and do their best in the field to ensure efficiency, quality and safety.