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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2007
    Posts
    500

    Default Getting farm help...what am I doing wrong?

    I am ready to throw the towel in on the horses due to health issues. I am in desperate need for farm help. Nothing to do with the horses, just maintenance around the farm such as clearing manure from dry lot, weed eating when needed, unloading hay, etc. (no stall cleaning).
    I have tried to have neighbors help me but it is like pulling teeth. I pay $10.00 an hour and NO ONE wants to work!!! I had one guy come by and work 3 hours and then said he was going to go out and get some cigarettes and he NEVER came back. He did not call, text me or anything.
    I have chronic lyme disease and I am currently having issues with my heart and per doctors orders I cannot do heavy work. I have 100 bales of hay that I need someone to unload it and I cannot find anyone.
    This person could set their own hours, and I was even willing to set up a system where they would come once or twice a month to do the work for a set amount, regardless of how long it took them (if the 1st time he did the job, it was 5 hours =$50.00, so each time after it would be $50.00 regardless if it only took him 3 hours).
    I live out in the country and I am not comfortable with posting a job on craigs lists because I live alone and prefer to have it be someone I know or know thru someone. But at this point, I am desperate.
    Keep in mind...normal is just a dryer setting.~anonymous



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    24,457

    Default

    Two questions, where are you located? Can you call a local church and ask for high school kids willing to work (tends to be a good reference) in your area. You could try calling the counseling office at your high school too. It's summer, I would think a lot of kids are looking for work in this economic climate.

    Actually three questions; are you being treated for you Lyme disease? By a Lyme doctor? (sorry, that makes 4).
    Join the Clinton 2016 campaign...Hillary For America. https://www.hillaryclinton.com/



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2005
    Posts
    718

    Default

    Put an ad on Craig's list and ask for references. Be sure to check all the references.
    Also, find out who previous employers were and call all of them. If no information on previous employers is given, check it out, most likely did not leave on good terms.
    The whole thing is a big PITA and I really feel for you. Good luck !



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2006
    Posts
    1,621

    Default

    Call your local Boyscout troop. Find out if they have a Venturing group that would be interested in doing some farm work-venturing is a group of older teens(14 to 20yr olds) their activiteis are moreexpensive, so they may be willing to do more to earn some money. Also try your local 4H/FFA extension office. There may be some older teens who are looking to earn some extra money. I also have had great luck with getting farm help by going ot our local mexican restaurant, and asking the hispanic workers if they know anyone interested in doing farm work. Have had great results with that.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2007
    Posts
    500

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    Two questions, where are you located? Can you call a local church and ask for high school kids willing to work (tends to be a good reference) in your area. You could try calling the counseling office at your high school too. It's summer, I would think a lot of kids are looking for work in this economic climate.

    Actually three questions; are you being treated for you Lyme disease? By a Lyme doctor? (sorry, that makes 4).
    I am located near the VA boarder in NC in the middle of now where. I even called in a favor to a neighbor whose horse I boarded for free last summer to see if she would help but she never answered back. So much for paying it forward

    I am with a LLMD in DC but I am currently battling a bad candidia (sp) infection from all of the antibiotics so my body is shot right now. This seems to happen in the summer, between the heat and the months of antibiotics, my body checks out for the summer. There are NO LLMD's in NC that will treat me so I commute up to DC.
    Keep in mind...normal is just a dryer setting.~anonymous



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 7, 2011
    Posts
    284

    Default

    I am so sorry to hear about this trouble, and when you're feeling ill, even worse.

    For as bad as times are economically, it is very hard to find anyone who wants to work at physical tasks.

    We were able to come up with a summer helper who mows and does general yardwork through the local high school - some kids with perhaps not the best family situations need some spending money and the school will usually know which ones are good eggs and which ones they wouldn't trust to recommend. Our young fellow is headed to the military this fall, now that he's graduated, and so is still helping us this summer.

    And yes, church youth organizations and Scout Troops might also be an option. Our small town has a community group that does clean-up days for people needing help, and there is a group in the next nearest metropolis that teaches at-risk youth how to grown organic produce to sell at the farmer's market - maybe they could do some work in exchange for free manure for their garden, if you had such a group?

    Sometimes Craigslist list has the "two-guys-and-a-truck-anything-for-a-buck" listing. Some of those have references.

    Wish I lived closer, I'd make my husband and son come and help you.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
    Posts
    3,580

    Default

    Been there.
    I think the boy scouts, church groups, etc are all good ideas.
    Post at the local grocery store, farm store, etc.

    Do a job description, how often needed, pay, etc. I think if you could get someone once a week for 2 hours or whatever would be better than once a month.
    Just post the job, say must have 3 references, etc. Give an email address.

    I found my best help at the shavings mill. I was so frustrated, said something to the office help...and she has a son who has worked for me now for 2 years.
    My other help was thru craig's list.
    I know this isn't right, but I would only respond to females with experience. I live alone, and just didn't feel comfortable with a guy.
    The guy who does your hay, could you pay extra for him to unload it?
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2005
    Location
    maryland
    Posts
    5,219

    Default

    Sorry to hear about the problems finding good workers. Good help is always hard to find.

    Maybe to encourage a commitment from a worker, can you find a way to promise them a minimum # of hours per week?

    Another option might be to ask around to find a reliable working boarder: give them free board in exchange for feeding and light maintenance, mucking, etc.

    For the hay: can you find a farmer who delivers & stacks the hay? Can you go to round bales and have them delivered so you don't have to be lifting any hay bales?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2010
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    2,561

    Default

    Friend of mine found good help....put an ad on CL for "free rent for retired person with motorhome/RV in exchange for light to moderate farm work, 20 hrs per week, must have own income".....got a bunch of retired, mostly men but a couple women, with campers/RV's/motor home....interviewed all and chose one guy...retired military, widower, kids grown, living in camper. Hooked him up to electric outlet and water and he had a truck that he took the septic tank from the camper to a dumpsite each week.....neat as a pin, kept up the fences, did heavy lifting type work and the yard never looked better. She shared produce from the garden and eggs from her chickens and when she slaughtered a pig she gave him some meat/bacon. Never gave her any trouble, no drinking, no partying etc...quiet fellow. Had him there for about 4 years. Only cost to her was slight increase in electric bill.
    Colored Cowhorse Ranch
    www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
    Northern NV



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2011
    Location
    Just west of BFE
    Posts
    5,336

    Default

    Try your Extension office for 4-H kids, or contact your local high school for FFA kids.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Saddle View Post
    Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,136

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Luckydonkey View Post
    Also try your local 4H/FFA extension office.
    Yes. Your situation SCREAMS teenager, and those in 4-H or known to extension agents (who tend to have a LOT of contacts) will likely get you a farm-savvy, RESPONSIBLE older teen who can (and WILL!) gladly do the job(s).



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2003
    Location
    Southern Maryland
    Posts
    1,267

    Default

    Well, is it possible that you are not paying enough? Min wage is $7.25, which someone can get for flipping burgers in an AC room. I hate to say it but the rule of thumb I have always used is 2X min wage for intensive labor.
    Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 13, 2008
    Location
    Western MA
    Posts
    608

    Default

    Oh if I lived in your state I would be there in a heartbeat! Min wage here is $8.50, and I work at a barn which pays $10/hour, which is somewhat high for barn help in this area. The position you're offering sounds like a good way for someone to earn some extra cash. I personally think $10 would be fine.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2005
    Posts
    1,762

    Default

    Check out the retirees in your area! Our maintence man is a retired coal miner who wanted to do something and what a great job he does! There are a lot of very able older folks out there that want a job to supplement ss and working their own hours is a big plus.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2009
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    445

    Default

    I too live in the middle of nowhere and the best places to find help is to post on the bulletin board at the local grocery store and the feed mill.

    Good luck.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    14,583

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blaster View Post
    Well, is it possible that you are not paying enough? Min wage is $7.25, which someone can get for flipping burgers in an AC room. I hate to say it but the rule of thumb I have always used is 2X min wage for intensive labor.
    LOL, At least! I charge $20/hr And for that you better believe I am reliable
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2005
    Location
    Where the prairie ends and the mountains begin
    Posts
    2,855

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Finnegans Wake View Post
    I am located near the VA boarder in NC in the middle of now where.

    I am with a LLMD in DC but I am currently battling a bad candidia (sp) infection from all of the antibiotics so my body is shot right now. This seems to happen in the summer, between the heat and the months of antibiotics, my body checks out for the summer. There are NO LLMD's in NC that will treat me so I commute up to DC.
    If I were closer to you in NC and not in the middle of planning a cross country move, I would come help for free. A neighbor of mine has Chronic Lyme and it's a terrible disease. He was diagnosed at 16 years old. He's 21 now, moves like an old man and is wacked out from all the medications he's taken over the years on top of what the disease has done. He almost died a couple of times, yet there are doctors here that just will not treat him. Their own tales of the medical doctors in NC is sickening... some infectious disease doctors don't even believe it exists! They have to go to Charleston for his treatment.

    Have you seen the documentary Under Our Skin? Very eye opening and my heart goes out to you.

    Under Our Skin
    Dreaming in Color



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2003
    Posts
    1,919

    Default

    You say you're in the middle of no where... it might be you're not paying enough or offering enough work.

    Gas is currently ~$4 a gallon. How long do you figure someone will need to commute (on average) to get to your place? 10 miles? 20 miles? Let's say they've got a 30 mile roundtrip commute to get to you.

    Let's say they have a little beater car that gets 20ish mpg. So let's say that all associated costs for them (gas, insurance, pain in the butt, miles on truck) is $10 per day. Let's also say that it takes 45 min to 1 hour to get to your place once it's all said and done.

    So they invest 4 hours of their day in their work with you but only pocket $20 - that's not really very enticing! And that's just for a 30 mile trip! The more miles you're out in the sticks, the less that number becomes for them. Or if they drive a guzzler truck.

    Flip side, maybe they can do the same type of work with a local yard service, make the same money but ride in the company truck and have shorter drive times. More money in pocket, less hassle, less personal vehicle wear and tear.

    You might need to look at the # of hours you're offering, and/or the hourly wage verses how many hoops prospective employees need to jump through. Maybe instead of saying a few hours a day you could say one day a week, all day. Or you need to advertise to folks that see value in the position beyond just the $- 4H/FAA/Boy Scouts, a potential boarder, that sort of thing.
    "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2005
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4,577

    Default

    Are there any big show/training barns in your area, or other large farms that employ immigrants? A couple of friends of ours "borrow" grooms from his trainer for odd jobs that are too physically demanding for them to do. We've borrowed farm help from a local dairy farmer for help with hay a couple of times. These guys are usually more ambitious than your average American and are happy to make some extra money. We pay them well- not because we have tons of cash to throw around, but because we appreciate the help- and they're happy to come back.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2006
    Location
    Clemson, SC
    Posts
    846

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Finnegans Wake View Post
    I am located near the VA boarder in NC in the middle of now where. I even called in a favor to a neighbor whose horse I boarded for free last summer to see if she would help but she never answered back. So much for paying it forward

    I am with a LLMD in DC but I am currently battling a bad candidia (sp) infection from all of the antibiotics so my body is shot right now. This seems to happen in the summer, between the heat and the months of antibiotics, my body checks out for the summer. There are NO LLMD's in NC that will treat me so I commute up to DC.
    Are you anywhere near Clarksville? My parents have a small farm there and my mother is disabled as well and occasionally gets help from some people in the community through her contacts at the highschool.

    If you are near there PM me. My father is an electrician and works almost. 100 mile radius and know ppl in multiple surrounding towns. If anything im sure Mom would like some horsey friends. She commutes to Richmond for treatment as well.
    Fourth N' Goal Training LLC.
    ~Specializing in Mom and Kid Approved Equitation and Jumper Horses

    *Horse Collector Status = Six Pack*



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