But his biggest problem is that he can't find help. He says farmers in his area have been trying and trying and trying. They just can't find anyone to move to a small town where it is four hours to the nearest decent airport. He thinks he could hire two, maybe four people full time.
Must be the wages? “Can't be that,” he says, “I will nearly pay whatever it takes … with overtime, they could make almost $80,000 a year.” On top of that, he will pay all the health care coverage and let people live in one of the houses he owns in his local small town, “just because I thought it would help me attract a family.” Beef is free too, and he doesn't need to go to Costco to buy it for the lucky family, either.
The only down sides?
18–20 hour days at crunch time (planting, fertilizing, and havesting) and it's in the middle of Kansas (hmmm … he doesn't mention tornado insurance). But the fact that Craig the Farmer is barely managing a 3,000 acre farm by himself means that the work must pretty much be fairly automated, and probably needs someone just in case, like pilots on modern aircraft. In fact, Craig says:
Skill? “I can teach them easily,” he says. “My equipment is goof proof, it has to be.” By that, he means that an employee need not even know how to drive straight, the tractor is guided by a sophisticated guidance sytem hooked into three satellites.
Sounds like even the tractor could be automated. Heck, if there's high speed Internet connectivity, I might think about it—especially if I could computerize the tractor.
Then again, there is that tornado thang …
(And some comments about the job … )