Farmers often had large families because they needed the extra help on the farm and because they intended to pass the farms on down to their offspring. That was the way of farmers for centuries. However, somewhere along the last mid-century, the kids left the farms and did not return. They did not want to go back, and they did not want farming to be their legacy to their own children.
Yet, people need farmers. Farmers grow and raise a lot of the food everyone needs. Some people who have never been part of farming or farming communities are now getting into farming and agriculture and becoming farmers themselves. If you have seriously considered farming as a lifelong career but you are not absolutely sure this is right for you just yet, various farm experiences can help you make that decision. Here is how.
Working for a Farmer
Farmers are always looking for farmhands, especially since their own children have left the farm behind. The pay is usually decent, but the work is dirty and often dangerous. Still, you will learn a lot about farm equipment, milking cows (if it is a dairy farm), raising animals for meat, and planting crops for both human and animal consumption. Work one year on a farm and you will know with certainty whether or not you want to do this job for life.
Visiting and Volunteering for a Petting Zoo
Petting zoos are wildly popular places for families. Everyone gets up close and personal with farm animals and a few less dangerous wildlife creatures. To keep these places running and reduce costs, many petting zoos rely on the volunteer efforts and the visitors to feed the animals and learn about caring for them.
Animal-Specific One-Day Farm Experiences
For one day only, you can sign up to work a real farm. Many of these farm experiences are animal-specific, such as a chicken farm experience or a mega dairy farm experience where you help milk a thousand cows twice a day via an automated milking process. It definitely gives you a very realistic view of all of the hard work farmers put into their jobs and what they do when they have "downtime" during the day (which often is not downtime at all because they have to fix something or work on another farm task). If you want to give farming a try, search local farms near you.