Detasseling Information

1) The company you will work for is called SMAK INC.  The owners are Steve and Mary DeRocher from LeMars, IA. The address is 31884 Hwy 3, LeMars, IA 51031.

Click here to download a printable .PDF version of this information. It is recommended that you print out a copy and post it on your refrigerator during detasseling season. You will need Adobe Acrobat reader to download this document.

2) First year detasslers will be paid $9.00 per hour while working in the field. Experienced detasslers will be paid $10 per hour while working in the fields. If a detassler works 3 days or less the wage will be $7.25 per hour. Please see the Pay Schedule for more information.

3)The fields are located near Whiting, Iowa

4)  Buses will pick up and transport workers to and from the fields each day. Arrival times at home at the end of each day will vary.

5) An “average” day would have the bus start to pick up workers at about 5:30 am and continue making stops along the way to the field. Arriving around 7:00 am the workday begins. At midmorning a paid break is taken. Work then continues with water and rest breaks taken as conditions in the field dictate. Normally the crew will complete its work for the day no later than 2:00 pm and then return home.

6) Yes, we sometimes have to work in the rain but never in lightning. Thunderstorms at 5:30 in the morning where you live absolutely will not stop us from going to work. We will walk through the fields pulling tassels from corn that the machines have missed. Average 14 year- olds have little trouble with the work. However, good sleep habits, proper nutrition and hydration are essential. No experience is necessary, as we will train you to become a good detassler.

7) Detasseling begins in early to mid July and continues through late July or early August. Weather plays an important role, so it can vary somewhat from year to year. A ten-to-fifteen day season can be expected. You will need to begin checking the SMAK Incorporated web site on July 1st and each day after that to see when your crew begins working.

8 If you are 14 years old or older, in good health, (some employees may require a medical waiver from a doctor) and wish to work we will hire you if the crew needs more employees. You may be put on a waiting list if the crew is fully staffed. You must complete the required paperwork (I-9, W-4, Emergency Medical Treatment, Parent Permission Form, Bus Agreement and Understanding Procedures) before beginning your employment.

9)  We want this work experience to be a good experience for all therefore there are a few behaviors that will not be tolerated. Those include the illegal use of drugs or alcohol, underage smoking, fighting, insubordination, swearing, throwing objects in the fields or on the bus and the inability to get along with co-workers. Serious violations of safety procedures will also be a cause for dismissal. We will contact local law enforcement officials for underage or illegal alcohol or drug activities and uncontrollable behavior.

10)  You need to bring a hat, gloves if desired, sunscreen, long sleeved shirts, food, water and old but reliable closed toe shoes to work. Preventing sunburn and corn rash by wearing long sleeves will make the detasseling experience even more enjoyable.

11)  All workers will be required to wear a mosquito net when within reach of a corn plant. These will protect your eyes and face while walking through the corn. Nets will be provided by the company. Your first net is free. After that nets will cost you $3.00. You may not enter a field to detassel without a net covering your face. Employee safety is taken seriously by SMAK Incorporated and head nets have proven to eliminate eye injuries due irritated and scratched corneas.

12)  Cell phones taken to the fields will probably get lost. If you must bring it to work you are responsible for its care. SMAK Inc will not be responsible for any lost or stolen phones. Of course they may not be used while you are being paid to perform a job.

13)  Emergency numbers: 712-540-5220 or 712-540-4298

14)  Detasseling is an excellent way to earn a fair sum of money in a short period of time. We want the experience to be fun and rewarding. We strive to keep you happy and healthy as our employee and truly appreciate the work that you do for us. Many of our employees return for a second or third year, or even more. Parents and employees please contact us if you have a concern and we will do our best to correct it.