Pros and Cons of Hiring a New Farm Employee

Between the Fencerows

Is the right person out there? Thoughts as we consider a new hire

Published on: September 17, 2013

Lately, we have been working through the pros and cons of bringing on an additional employee.  We currently have one person, Corky, and his availability is usually pretty good.  He delivers most of our grain to the processors and also does many farm tasks. 

Additionally, Corky owns and runs a parts distribution business.  He also owns some farmland which we help him farm.  This arrangement has worked out pretty well for the last two years. 

Corky has been off the last couple of months, building a pole barn for himself.  We also utilize two retired men who work full-time hours seasonally.  The last few weeks, we have had a farmer neighbor running the semi, but I'm sure that will come to an end as harvest approaches.

It seems we are always shorthanded. Normal business operations can consume dad's and my time.  When you stack on all the daily operations, sometimes things we want to get done just don't make the final cut. 

In the past, we have managed most of our construction projects ourselves.  This year we have contracted out a couple of those.  I'm sure a year-end review will remind us the expense of contracting that labor. 

These are some of the reasons we are looking for a new hire. Can we keep this new person busy?  What benefits and wages will workers expect, and what can we offer?  Can this addition generate revenue?  What tasks will we require this employee to do?  What risks are there to the worker?  What are the risks to our operation?  Do we want to expand into a commercial trucking company?  Is it time to open a business for dry fertilizer and manure application?

Through these internal discussions, we have arrived at the following job requirements:  General shop work and machine repairs, tractor and/or semi operator (note I didn't say driver).  Knowledge of irrigation, technology, or electricity would be beneficial. 

It's our preference to not go commercial trucking, and we would only expand the manure spreading if the right person came along.  We are willing to fill this position with a full time person or a couple of part time people. 

We will take our time and seek the right fit.