A farm hand, at the end of the day, does what he or she is asked to do. Often, farm hands do real work with real results and they can expect to more physical tasks than someone who stands at a cash register at a fast food restaurant.
Being a farm hand teaches some valuable life lessons to those with enough work ethic to be one. It teaches you how to work hard, be accountable for your work and how to get the job done. You will also learn some skills that may be useful in your life or work in the future, depending on your career goals.
Some farm hands work with animals. Some with plants and crops. Some farm hands work with equipment and some mostly work with their hands. What you do depends on the conversation you have with your future employer before you decide to help. Make sure you’re able to put in the time and do the work that your employer is asking for before you agree to the job, and you can expect to get as much out of the job as you put into it.
Being a farm hand means that your pay depends on the conversation you have with the employer before you start. If you’re under the age of 16 or 18, you may get paid less than someone older, but again, that depends on the work you’re doing and what your employer is offering.
Often, farm hands make more than someone making minimum wage. But, you can expect to work harder than someone working a minimum wage job. We’d estimate that your hourly wage would be somewhere between $8-$12 per hour. The hours may be long, depending on what you’re doing, but the money is often more.
1. To get started as a farm hand, you need to find someone who needs help with their farm. It seems simple enough, but this may be the most difficult part of the process if you live in a city or suburb. If you’re under the age of 18, be sure you have permissions from your parents, of course.
You can check bulletin boards at local farm equipment stores. Talk to the people who work at these stores – they see many owners and employees of farms every day and they may know someone who needs help. If you know someone who runs a farm, don’t be afraid to ask them if they need help. If your town has a grainery, talk to people there. Think about where farmers in your area do their work and go there. This is often the best way to find and talk to people who may need help.
You may also choose to look online for people who need help on their farms. However, this can be dangerous and you should ask your parents to search with you. Never meet someone online alone.
Much of what it takes to be a farm hand is talking to people until you find someone who needs help. If you live in a rural area, this should be easier for you, especially if your family has lived there a long time.
2. Now, you need supplies. This is entirely dependent on what your employer is asking you to do. But, odds are you will be doing physical work and you will need a pair of work gloves. If you’re doing physical work, you need to take care of your hands. The longer your hands last, the more you can work and the more money you can get.
Once you have your gloves, make sure you have comfortable and durable shoes, like work boots. Think about the work you’re doing and be sure you dress in a way that will make you the most able to do that job. If you’re riding horses, you’ll need boots or shoes you can ride in. If you’re carrying sacks of feed all day, make sure your shoes are comfortable.
Ask your employer if there is anything they would like you to bring to the job. They may provide you with all the equipment you need to do your job and do it well.
3. Once you have everything required to do your job, it’s time to go to work! If you have a vehicle of your own, know how long it takes you to get ready and get to work. If it takes you an hour to drive to the farm, give yourself an hour and a half. If someone is giving you a ride there, make sure you have a plan with that person. Much of being a farm hand is having the ability to be a self-starter and to be able to work without being told to work. Being late to work goes against this.
Being a farm hand is simple enough, but rarely easy work. It’s a job for people who people who aren’t afraid to sweat a little for their pay and often leads to more work in the future, especially in farms that have harvest seasons. Go out, get dirty and get paid!