Assuming it is legitimate, this job sucks because whomever accepts it is becoming an indentured servant for a land-owning farmer.The skills the person learns are not transferable to any other occupation, and no other farmers are hiring this sort of person. If something goes sour in the relationship, the worker doesn't just lose a job, he loses a house and is stuck in rural Kansas.
Why is he doing that?
I'm sure that it's a quality job, but most people are more interested in a quality career, and they generally perceive that not too many quality careers happen in rural Kansas. Not that aren't any, but there are probably exponentially fewer than in the nearest large city.
* Food magically appears in stores
* Water magically flows from taps
* Trash magically disappears
That could explain why reality-checking jobs like farmer are off the radar. Why, aren't there robots or something doing such things?
I'm actually kind of curious about what is preventing this equipment from actually becoming a robot:
'“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. “If I overlap six inches on fertilizer or seeding,” he says, “it wastes nearly $10,000.”'
What's the need for a human being in the machine at all? What could he or she do in there but screw things up?
Farming on private property is an entirely different scenario than having robot vehicles on public roads. I doubt he'd need anybody's approval to set things up that way.
GPS-guided farming seems like one of the simpler scenarios, and if finding labor is as difficult as the original post claims, one of the more likely ones, as well.
I know plenty of middle-aged experts in the computer industries with wives and kids who love it out "in the country" and wouldn't trade it for anything else.
While there's a lot to be said for the bling and bang of living in somewhere like NYC, Seattle, SF, Chicago (my hometown! :D), or the valley; there's a whole 'nother side to the coin that involves a quite family life away from the city and the people.
In a lot of ways Silicon Valley is rural/very suburban and far removed from big city life.
My impression is that this is a fairly common model for communes - farm work during the some seasons, spend the rest of the year working for cash or on some big project.
If you strip out the cultural differences, communes and start-ups have a lot in common. I don't see why a start-up/farm couldn't work in this way, just so long as you don't try to launch a product in September.
8 hours is a lot for me too. However, right now I'm sitting on an unsteady (swiveling chair), struggling to hammer another key under intense pain (carpal-tunnel syndrome), in a frigid (air-conditioned) apartment. I think if it wasn't for this harsh working environment I could work longer hours. Maybe I'll give that farm guy a call.
This smells just like a case last year where a PR piece pushing liberal immigration law backfired. A guy who owned a lawn service company did his bit for the cause blathering on about how he couldn't get ANYONE domestic to work for him for something like $10/hour. He needed illegals. Well it turned out, he wasn't advertising anywhere and was just directly recruiting illegals. When this piece got even a little circulation native born Americans were lined up around the block asking him for work.
its not like people don't live in small towns anymore... there are thousands of people working in mcdonalds in tiny highway towns that would kill to get paid 80k a year
They all got to see a large portion of North America, and saved some money in the process.
That's true of most homeless, I think. But a small minority of them probably are good physical laborers who just lack the ability to find good jobs. I wonder how one could weed these out of the general homeless population.