Mercedes Pinto-Flores joined Calagri (now PacificAg) in 2013. “I started as a tractor driver and baler,” Mercedes said. “The next year I started supervising and I’ve been doing that ever since.”

As a supervisor, Mercedes is responsible for a crew that runs balers and stackers out in the fields. He’s also responsible for keeping the crew’s equipment in good working order, and makes repairs as needed.

Previously, Mercedes worked in plants and factories, which always felt confining to him. “I’d never done this kind of (agricultural) work before,” Mercedes said, “but I like everything about it. I like to work out in the fields and open areas.”

Mercedes is based in Oklahoma, and he and his team travel as far as the Dakotas to work. “We travel with the same crew for the entire season, which runs from May through December,” he said. There are usually four to eight people on the crew. “We’re out for a couple of months at a time, then come home to spend some time with our families,” he said.

Mercedes is married with two children and has a baby on the way. As a family, they enjoy going out to eat or to the movies, and taking trips out of town. The family recently made a trip to Mexico to visit relatives. “It was the first time I’d been there in almost 20 years,” Mercedes said.