In 1917, Virgil Forrence Sr. inherited a small, fertile 48-acre farm to milk cows and grow strawberries in Peru, NY. The farm had been passed down in the family since 1833. By 1943, Virgil Sr. and his three sons, Roger, Bill, and Virgil Jr., had transitioned the farm to a more profitable enterprise growing Macintosh and Cortland apples. 100 years and four generations later, Forrence Orchards remains family owned and operated by Virgil Jr.’s three grandsons, Mason and Mac (Macintosh) and Peter Forrence. In 1973, Roger Forrence began hiring Jamaicans to harvest apples because of a diminishing local workforce. For over 40 years now, all the apple picking at Forrence Orchards has been done by Jamaican seasonal workers hired under the Department of Labor’s H2A visa program, a version of which dates back to WWII, when temporary labor from the Caribbean replaced American farmers off fighting in Europe and Asia. In 10 years, only a handful of local people have applied to pick fruit. Seth Forrence, Mason’s son, joined the family business in 1998. Mason’s cousin Peter Forrence, with his son Henry, manages the sales department and packing side of the business. In total, Forrence Orchards is a patchwork of 1200 acres, stretching from the town of Peru to the shores of Lake Champlain.