Sources for ag employees
I am looking for sources for an employee for my farm. For all the talk about young people wanting to get started in agriculture, but there are no opportunities, I have not found them to be so plentiful.
Any sources would be appreciated. I am using the Eager Farmer run by Joel Salatin’s daughter-in-law and Linkedin. WWOOF tends to not have people looking for a long term commitment.
Aloha Mark! I am a farmer in Hawaii and have been for 18 years. I have always found it difficult to find truly motivated younger generation employees. In most cases when I did get some I could work circles around them. Granted ag is not exactly the most richly rewarded in terms of financial gains, but I kind of thought it was more about lifestyle.
Actually come to think about it being in media and tech also I have yet to find any super motivated and exceptional younger workers. Maybe they're all working overseas!
I just recently hired a techie to design a new website and do some basic upgrades to an existing website and was surprised he was lacking basic communication and office skills. This guy is the owner of his own company. They like to text a lot and in business that does not fly. Don't text me a contract! They can't even produce a decent invoice and you can find invoice templates on Excel or internet easily. I tell them LEARN AND USE QUICKBOOKS!! They don't! Half the time I think they want me to do their invoice so they can Twitter more! Here are some comments I made about their invoices:
-Does your invoice have an invoice number?
-Can you put your email and phone number on your invoice?
-What does this invoice cover?
-Do you have PayPal or a method of online payment?
-Do you know what a W9 is?
I will bet I have had to ask all the above or one or two of those at least 20 times the past year.
Just basic communication skills are horrible. I rarely get same day replies and then they say I sent you a text when they know I do not text. I am their client. These long email threads and texts with attachments are a mess. They procrastinate and it disrupts the whole momentum.
I'm not talking about rural farm kids in Hawaii. These are Los Angeles based media types. The techies I have working for me seem to prefer their well worn rut. They never seem to want to explore other ruts on their own time. The most prevalent syndrome they suffer from is the NOBODY KNOWS MORE ABOUT TECH THAN ME! That must be why they're not working at Google or Intel or the NSA!
My theory is they are not all lacking. The ones that are not lacking just are not available to work because employers have them all wrapped up and paid nicely!! I never get to meet those ones! Well, I did but that was 1997 and they were working for Cisco Systems!
The other question I ask them is … "Can you get laid these days without tats and green hair?" lol
I think you'll discover why there are fewer and fewer family farms and non-corp farms!
TIP: The best ag workers are first generation Mexicans. If you do not habla espanol then you need to teach them english. Their work ethics are top of the line I have always found, especially the older ones, say around 30 yrs old. I took the time to educate them. I speak and read and write Spanish so that was a blessing! So my tip is … go to Home Depot!
Good luck in your quest for competent and motivated long term career orientated youthful ag workers! It is not an easy task.