So you want to change careers? There’s a country song by Faith Hill called “The Secret of Life” and the premise of the song is that the secret of life isn’t a secret at all; it’s the simple things.
The truth is that working on a farm can be the secret to a happy life.
Farming is a lifestyle choice that more people are moving towards. Careers on the farm offer less stress, the opportunity to see different parts of the country, rewarding work, and relaxing days.
If sitting is the new smoking, a career on the farm is definitely one answer to that problem. You get plenty of exercise working on a farm, but it’s the kind of exercise you look forward to every day.
While some farm jobs require specific training or education, opportunities are everywhere for those with any level of education. If you’ve been considering a career shift from trucking, a factory, or the corporate world, read on for why working on a farm just might be the best decision you make.
Life on a farm as an employee
Part of the reason people grow unsatisfied with their job is a lack of purpose, or feeling that they aren’t contributing to something larger than themselves. Agriculture and farms can help fill this void. You are part of a lasting legacy, caring for the land, and helping to feed the world’s population.
You’re no stranger to hard work if you’re already putting in long days on the road as a truck driver, working in construction, a factory, or on a road crew. Farming is hard work, but at the end of the day, you can see the product of your toil.
There’s seasonality to life on a farm that differs for each agriculture sector. Your days may start before sunrise and end after sunset during planting or harvesting season. Rainy days and the winter months offer farmers a chance to slow down.
Each season has its own rhythm and that rhythm is what draws employees to farm life. And, keeps them there for generations!
If you’re one of the 71% of employees who is bored or disengaged at your current job, farming could be the answer for you. The same seasonality and rhythm to farm life also means that no two days are the same.
Why a career on the farm beats other careers any day
Farm employees face new challenges each day, and rising to the challenge increases employee satisfaction. What might your day look like? Here’s an example from a grain farmer.
5:15 AM. The alarm goes off. A quick check of the weather shows the forecast is holding and cool weather won’t delay your start. After breakfast, it’s out the door at 5:45 AM to put diesel in the tractor, and add seed and fertilizer.
By 6:30 AM you’re in the first field of the day to seed canola. Technology and GPS programming in the tractor allow you to monitor your progress. The day continues with refueling breaks for diesel, seed, and fertilizer. A lunch break refuels the farmer.
Depending on the size and scope of the farm, you may be seeding all day, moving on to another crop, or working on a different project. The late afternoon brings some field scouting for pests and weeds, checking fields that were seeded a few days ago, general maintenance on the equipment used today, and a final check of the weather to plan for tomorrow.
How about a rancher? It may not always be idyllic, they say, but it is a life you choose. The alarm goes off before the sun comes up, coffees in a travel mug and it’s out the door.
You start by checking cattle at the barn. None requires special attention, so you throw them some feed, check the water tank, and head out to the pastures.
The first group of cattle just needs a fresh hay supply. You drive out with some hay, check the grass to estimate how long before they move to the next field for grazing, and check the water source.
About the time you’re finishing, another employee catches up to you from the fields they were checking. You both head out to a third group of cattle that needs to be moved to a new area, having grazed their pasture down. You set up the gates, and start working the cattle.
After lunch you’re fixing fence in a pasture that cattle will be moving into once their current range is grazed down. Leather gloves cover your hands and fencing pliers sit in your back pocket as you work your way down the fence line.
Before the day ends, you return to the barn to tag and vaccinate a few calves, and move them back out to pasture. You spend a few minutes discussing the plan for tomorrow with the other workers before heading home as the sun quietly sets on another day.
Finding the right type of farm work for you doesn’t need to be challenging. Browse the job listings on WorkHorse Hub and read the descriptions for a few open jobs. What jumps out at you and peaks your interest?
Imagine what it would be like to be excited to go to work every morning, and end the day with a quiet satisfaction. You can make that dream a reality. There are hundreds of farm jobs available, and it’s easier than you think to apply and get hired.
You’ll soon discover why everyone says that the secret to a happy life can be working on a farm. The rewards of the job will make you wonder why you didn’t make the switch sooner as you create your own schedule, face new challenges every day, and build a lifestyle you’ll take pride in.
Find your next career in agriculture on WorkHorse.