Here’s a small business idea for a motivated, hands-on entrepreneur: a farm labor training & coordination service.
It’s a business that requires no office space, no supplies and no equipment: just good social skills, a pencil, a spiral-bound notebook and a working telephone.
Centre region farmers – especially the small, organic & low-chemical farmers who sell their goods direct-to-consumers at farmers markets and through CSA shares – need ready, intermittent access to reliable, trained farmhands.
Partly they need good farmhands to be able to manage their farms and families better right away, with less stress and pressure.
And partly they need good farmhands to free up some of their time so they can think about organizing themselves a farmers’ association to improve their farming lives and expand their sales markets down the road.
So a bright, extroverted individual could make a real difference in the local food scene by picking up the phone and calling a few farmers to find out what kind of training would be most useful, how long it would take to train a newbie farmhand in the most useful farming skills, and how many hours of farm work – after training – would make that training process worth the farmers’ effort.
Spring Creek Homesteading could help out with contacts and a little bit of start-up money to train and pay the first few farmhands for a little while.
Once the trained farmhands build up a good track record of making themselves useful out on the farms and the farmers see real value in paying the farmhand agency directly for access to reliable, skilled, local labor, I think it could be a self-sustaining, profitable business creating wage-paying jobs for the farmhands; expanding production capacity, markets and income streams for the farmers; and increasing overall community resilience by increasing the pool of people-who-know-how-to-farm.