Find a Job on an Organic Farm
Organic farming is a rapidly growing agricultural industry that has enjoyed a yearly growth rate of 20 percent for the last 10 years. Many organic farms are small, family-owned operations that can provide good learning experiences for the enthusiastic individual who wants to get a job on an organic farm in order to learn more about producing pesticide-free food for people.
- Educate yourself about organic farming by enrolling in agricultural courses at your local community college or university. Many schools offer non-credit agricultural courses in plant science and agriculture for both novices and experienced individuals.
- Start or join a local community garden to gain relevant experience for a job on an organic farm. A community garden is a small microcosm of life on the farm. You will learn how to grow plants from seed, prevent insect infestation through non-toxic means and share knowledge and resources with other like-minded individuals.
- Volunteer on a farm for your next vacation. This concept is known as "voluntourism" and there are numerous organizations like Voluntourism.org that place candidates seeking agricultural experience on organic farms around the world. Another company, Vocation Vacations, helps individuals decide if their dream job is right for them by placing paying clients in carefully screened job sites, including organic farm jobs.
- Catalog your past job experience and consider how it relates to farming. Even if you are an office worker who's never worked on an organic farm before, there are most likely things you have done in the past that can add value to an employer looking for help. For example, if you know how to weld or do carpentry these are valuable skills to include in your resume.
- Create a resume specifically for the farming industry that lists your skills, talents, career and education background. Have a resume ready even if your potential employer doesn't require one. You will be a much more viable candidate for a job on an organic farm if you can quickly summarize your experience and goals.
- Visit or call your government's local agricultural extension program to ask about what organic farm jobs might be available in your area. Agricultural extension programs are directed by national government agencies that work with local universities to provide education and skills training for agricultural workers.
- Keep your options open about where you will work. If you live in an urban area it may be difficult to find a job on an organic farm within commuting distance of your house. There are many ways to search for open farm jobs without leaving your home. One source is the organization World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), which links volunteers with organic farmers around the world through an online jobs database.
- Join dues-paying organizations that provide directories of agricultural jobs on large and small organic farms. The groups Workamper and Caretaker Gazette specialize in placing paid and volunteer workers with private and public organizations and individuals who hire for many types of jobs, including organic farm work. Oftentimes the work is in full or partial exchange for free rent.
- Pay off your debt if you want a job on an organic farm. Entry level jobs in organic farming are often low paying and many times novice farm employees are paid with food and rent in full or partial exchange of wages.