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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2003
    Location
    somewhere. out there.
    Posts
    2,413

    Default Small farm owners - how do YOU find farm help?

    DH and I bought a small farm last winter, and now have our horses at home. We're lucky to live in a VERY horsey area, and I've been fortunate to have trusted help to take care of things while I'm away. Unfortunately, my most trusted help just left for college, and I'm in the process of thinking about looking for someone else, well in advance of the next time I need to go out of town.

    So, how have you found decent help? Hired a professional service? Used on-line BBs like this one and VirginiaEquestrian? Flyers at the tack store?

    Tell me your stories...the good, the bad and the ugly!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2003
    Location
    IN
    Posts
    4,199

    Default local college

    Getting students from the local college works well if classes are in session when I need to leave. Not so great when I need help outside of the academic calendar.
    Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 2, 2009
    Posts
    1,258

    Default

    I own a decent sized farm so when we are away I have to have someone stay in the farmhouse for the duration. I have 50 horses so I need someone around 24/7. I am lucky in so far as a few of my boarders are superb farm sitters. They know how the farm is run and they know the expectations required.

    Funnily enough I was contacted by a lady starting up a horse/dog sitting service in my area. She had worked out her prices and had thought about what people might want. I worked out the price it would be for me to go away using her pricelist and working out her costs to take care of the horses, dogs and cats. According to the flyer it would cost me approximately $2,000 for her to live here for 5 days. I did contact her out of interest and just in case I did actually need to use someone else to take over full care of the farm and I asked her about her knowledge and capabilities and to be quite honest there is no way I would have someone as inexperienced as her here. She really didn't know much above basic horse care and with my guys, who are generally no-problem animals, even if one just had a minor injury, this lady did not know enough to deal with basic needs or primary medications.

    Meh! Don't think so.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2004
    Location
    Sergeantsville, NJ
    Posts
    2,541

    Default

    Ask your vet or at the local feed store. Another idea is to call your local pony club DC and get the names of some B-level PC-ers who are old enough to drive and want to earn a little cash.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 11, 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    280

    Default

    I do A LOT of house/horse/farm sitting. In fact, just finishing up a 10 day one tomorrow, and moving onto my second long term (8 months +) job next week. A majority of my work honestly comes through word of mouth. After I finish each job, I get a reference letter from that person (thankfully, they have all been good so far!).
    I start booking in Jan and Feb for summer through emails, facebook messages and phone calls. If you know people in the area, ask them who they have used and their experiences. Chances are, if I've already done your neighbors and know the area, I'm more likely to take that job!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2001
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    1,846

    Default

    I bred my own Two out of three of my kids are great with horses. The other one, I barely trust with the dog. Ah well, at least 2/3 of them worked out as farm sitters.
    OLD FRIENDS FARM-Equine Retirement-We LOVE Seniors!! Spoiling Retirees since 1998
    http://www.angelfire.com/oldfriendsfarm/home.html
    Charter Member of UYA!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    I left a flyer at the feed store. Still using the same barn-sitter four years later.
    Click here before you buy.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2009
    Location
    South of the Mason Dixon
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Craigslist. Found two great employees this way. Plus it is nice that your ad is "blind" so you don't get phone calls or folks showing up unannounced. You decide who to respond to. After the position was filled, I edited my ad to announce that the position was now filled and thanked all those who responded. it is also free!!!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2006
    Location
    Lincoln, Va.
    Posts
    341

    Default

    Epona - where are you located these days?


    Janet
    Cold Spring Farm
    German and Arabian-related GOV sporthorses

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/426884770673419/



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2006
    Location
    Lincoln, Va.
    Posts
    341

    Default

    Epona - where are you located these days?


    Janet
    Cold Spring Farm
    German and Arabian-related GOV sporthorses

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/426884770673419/



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2003
    Location
    somewhere. out there.
    Posts
    2,413

    Default

    Janet - I'm down in Culpeper now, on the north side of town.

    BTW - bought a half-arabian in April and hope to do the Arab Sport horse shows with him next year!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2006
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    375

    Default

    Perhaps stop at a few of the farms and ask who they use. We use Pony Club kids and a neighboring small farm owner. The neighboring owner and I barter farm sitting for each other.
    Alison Howard
    Homestead Farms, Maryland www.freshorganicvegetables.com



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2007
    Location
    SE Virginia
    Posts
    40

    Default

    I have a small place---4 horses, 32 chickens, 3 dogs and cats. 1 of the horses is a boarder. I give her a discounted board in return for 10 hrs of labor per month (she can't afford much board). She will mow, spray weed killer, trim back trees for me, helped make a shavings bin with me, etc. I haven't been away from the barn for long periods of time since we bought it almost a year ago but I guess I'll use her when I need to go away since she knows the routine pretty well.



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