Thursday, January 16, 2014

Worst Job In The World

I read today that Career Cast ranked farming as one of the worst jobs in the world!  They ranked it at 190th best of of 200 careers!  Only nine jobs were ranked worse and I think newspaper reporter was at the top.

When you look at opportunity, working conditions, expense, income, stress, and similar things I can see where farming might come near the bottom.  I guess you have to be cut out to really do it.  That doesn't even consider the entry level which is very high.  We all know it takes help or a lot of money to get started.

We have eliminated 99% of the population actually farming much due to all these factors and more.  Things were a little easier when I was an ag teacher but still very difficult.  I helped 40 young men and women get started farming through agricultural education and the FFA.  They have done very well for themselves but it sure wasn't easy.

Alternative careers I like don't fair much better.  Agricultural scientist and conservationist both rank in the bottom 100 of best careers.  Biologist is ranked 70th and that's about the best job in the list I had any interest or ability in.

Did you choose the right career?  Would you steer a passionate young farmer away from his desire?  Those were hard questions for me to answer as a teacher.  I always thought the hardest part of being a parent, teacher or school board member was guiding a young person toward the right career for them.

I see many questions from young people on Ag Talk about how to get started farming.  Many had limited opportunity like I had.  Most of the posters give very wise advice but its usually "hard love," telling all the problems they went through and what young people can anticipate.

It's the grandest occupation of all to me, I never met a farmer that I didn't have some empathy for.  Many of you have done a super job and some have passed that down through their children.  I wasn't able to do that, it just wasn't in the cards.

It wasn't done for me either, and I don't regret it.

Ed Winkle


  1. Even though someone else does'nt view us very highly, I still feel blessed to be able to farm full time. Can't think of anything else I would rather be doing.

  2. I always say, "Its not a job, its my life." Might be a bad job if I had to work for a farmer but as long as I am self employed working at my own speed it is the best job for me.

  3. Those kind of folks don't have a clue, Ed.

  4. No they don't, Gorges. Neither do the ones I reported on in "Farmers Rock," a few days ago.

    Full time farming is such a rarity today, I have to drive to Iowa to talk to farmers who think like I do!