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.