I've worked in minimum wage jobs before (janitor, field work) and I just don't see how the work ethics of an average American worker will suffice on a farm.
People complain when they work in air conditioned offices, how will they survive standing in 100 degrees weather in a field?
Were you and your co-workers above average or non-American? As an American worker, reasonably close to average in physical condition, I did work low-wage jobs (loading dock, janitorial, landscape) when in my late teens and very early 20s. No doubt I complained, but apparently I sufficed.
"People complain when they work in air conditioned offices, how will they survive standing in 100 degrees weather in a field?"
Complaining, I guess.
Frankly, it isn't primarily the conditions of work that would deter me from farm work--though that would, too--it's the pay.
My father gladly obliged and got me a job in the fields, cutting grapes and placing them on 'raisin paper' (I was to receive .10/raisin paper). Toughest, hardest job of my life - I barely survived and at lunch time, decided to call it a day and spent rest of the afternoon under the shade of an almond grove across the road. All the while, the real farm workers were busting their ass in 100+ degree weather and taking a quick 20min lunch and sporadic water breaks. At that time there was no break/lunch/water mandate similar to what we have nowadays.
Nothing but respect for those folks after that.
1. Many "average American workers" are still farmers, and
2. Before the supply of labor was manipulated via deliberate government policy, almost all farmers/farm workers were "average American workers".
(This is on a macro level, obviously there are progressive Americans, but they aren't the norm.)