Seasonal Farm Work
Because farms are busier at certain times of the year, many hire seasonal workers to work specifically during these seasons. Typically, seasonal staff are hired during the harvest time of the crop in question, and so that means that most hiring takes place between June and November, depending on the crop.
This is a great chance for you to make some extra money with a second job, and seasonal work is also perfect for students looking for summer jobs.
As a seasonal worker, you’ll typically be given one main task to complete during your time on the farm. For example, if you work on a farm growing strawberries, your task may be to pick the ripe berries. On larger farms, tasks can include sorting the fruits and vegetables, loading trucks with the produce, or even working at a local farmer’s market or driving a delivery truck to the farm’s retail locations or buyers.
Your pay rate as a seasonal worker depends on the job you’re hired to do and your experience. Most seasonal farm jobs start at minimum wage, with pay increases for workers who do jobs around dangerous machinery or who come back every season to help with the harvest. Some farms pay based on the quantity of work, instead of a minimum hourly wage. For example, with our strawberry example above, you might be paid a certain dollar amount for every pallet you fill with boxes of berries.
Special seasonal jobs are available at farms that farm pick-your-own operations or festivals, and some farms hire extra hands to help out during other parts of the year, such as planting season. Usually, there are fewer seasonal jobs available outside of the harvest season, and most farms will offer these jobs to the best harvest-time workers. You may also be hired to work on a farm full-time if you show that you are a hard worker during the harvest season.
Even though most jobs don’t required skilled workers, you can still stand out above the crowd by working quickly, showing up on time every day, and having a positive attitude, even when the work gets boring and monotonous.
Seasonal employment is by far most common among farms growing crops, but some livestock farms also need temporary help at certain points of the year. For example, a cattle ranch may hire extra hands to help with birthing during the breeding season or a chicken farm may need seasonal workers to help winterize their buildings in the fall. Although this work is temporary, it can definitely help you pay the bills if you’re not having much luck finding work otherwise, and if you do a good job, you could find yourself with a full-time position on the farm in the future.