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Old 08-28-2015, 08:52 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,925,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Wizard View Post
Your apprentices though. They actually get paid while working right? What the typical program like. Do they need to come from AG major in college for example. Is it open to the newbie such as myself?
They don't get paid - they are what is known as slave labor. They may get free room and board and veggies, at least that's what I have seen. You would be better off having a well paying job in town for a few years while living on a shoe string at the same time and saving money. Once you have saved enough - you can get a few acres of your own and play farmer. After all, not being paid means you will never save any money and no, nobody will put you into their will just because you apprenticed on their farm.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:25 AM
 
Location: NJ
173 posts, read 126,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ognend View Post
They don't get paid - they are what is known as slave labor. They may get free room and board and veggies, at least that's what I have seen. You would be better off having a well paying job in town for a few years while living on a shoe string at the same time and saving money. Once you have saved enough - you can get a few acres of your own and play farmer. After all, not being paid means you will never save any money and no, nobody will put you into their will just because you apprenticed on their farm.

Most apprenticeships are paid on small scale. You do it to learn a trade with hands on working experience.

Other than farming people also take on apprenticeships as electricians, pipe fitters, plumbers, etc. Which BTW are also paid the small scale. I guess no one should pursue those high paying careers.
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:24 AM
 
11,257 posts, read 44,321,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Wizard View Post
Most apprenticeships are paid on small scale. You do it to learn a trade with hands on working experience.

Other than farming people also take on apprenticeships as electricians, pipe fitters, plumbers, etc. Which BTW are also paid the small scale. I guess no one should pursue those high paying careers.
not from what I've seen in the union trade apprenticeships in my experience ...

most of the trades have a defined wage schedule with steps up to full journeyman pay over a given period of time.

For example, a neighbor's kid went into a 4-year plumbing apprenticeship. Started at 50% of journeyman wage (which was around $28/hr at the time). and it was raised every 6 months. Targeted to be full pay at 4 years as a plumber. He was on a job site where they offered him a PipeFitter apprenticeship, but they gave him a "bonus" by giving him 3 years apprentice standing when he hired in after 1 year as a plumber apprentice. The kid had grown up assisting in his stepfather's non-union plumbing company ... by the time he was out of high school, he was a skilled as a union card carrying journeyman.

Another neighbor, a master electrician for our rural electric co-op, got his kid into an apprenticeship for a lineman's job with the company. Within 2 years, he, too, was earning the journeyman wage and getting a lot of overtime with the typical winter season call-outs. Their contract calls for time and a half on weekend call-outs and double time on holidays.

Yet another got his kid into a low-voltage AC electrical apprenticeship (mainly doing communications wiring). Journeyman pay was almost $40/hr, and the starting wage for the apprentice was $20/hr + benefits. That's a $40,000 per year wage to start and the kid only had to endure that for the first 6 months. With a number of Davis-Bacon projects in the area, the kid had full time employment ahead for years at the time he was hired.

Noteworthy for these apprenticeships was the starting wage & benefits package was well above the average wages paid in the area for many jobs. Those apprenticeships were hardly a sacrifice for the kids to take on, and the competition to get those jobs was intense. You had to know somebody in the trade/union hall to have enough influence to get hired. Where they were hired in to full time jobs at companies with union contracts, the wages were far above the average for the area. Not bad work ... if you can get into it. Also, these jobs paid wages that were higher than a lot of college degree required jobs in the area were paying.

In comparison, even as apprentices ... these jobs paid a heck of a lot more than the net income from small scale farms in our area. There simply isn't the cash flow out of these operations to pay these types of wages to hired help. Even the larger operations this year are seeing net incomes shrink; corn and soybeans are having banner year production rates and prices less than the cost of production (corn now down to the low $3/bu price, less than the cost of production for many operations).
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:14 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,925,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
not from what I've seen in the union trade apprenticeships in my experience ...

most of the trades have a defined wage schedule with steps up to full journeyman pay over a given period of time.

For example, a neighbor's kid went into a 4-year plumbing apprenticeship. Started at 50% of journeyman wage (which was around $28/hr at the time). and it was raised every 6 months. Targeted to be full pay at 4 years as a plumber. He was on a job site where they offered him a PipeFitter apprenticeship, but they gave him a "bonus" by giving him 3 years apprentice standing when he hired in after 1 year as a plumber apprentice. The kid had grown up assisting in his stepfather's non-union plumbing company ... by the time he was out of high school, he was a skilled as a union card carrying journeyman.

Another neighbor, a master electrician for our rural electric co-op, got his kid into an apprenticeship for a lineman's job with the company. Within 2 years, he, too, was earning the journeyman wage and getting a lot of overtime with the typical winter season call-outs. Their contract calls for time and a half on weekend call-outs and double time on holidays.

Yet another got his kid into a low-voltage AC electrical apprenticeship (mainly doing communications wiring). Journeyman pay was almost $40/hr, and the starting wage for the apprentice was $20/hr + benefits. That's a $40,000 per year wage to start and the kid only had to endure that for the first 6 months. With a number of Davis-Bacon projects in the area, the kid had full time employment ahead for years at the time he was hired.

Noteworthy for these apprenticeships was the starting wage & benefits package was well above the average wages paid in the area for many jobs. Those apprenticeships were hardly a sacrifice for the kids to take on, and the competition to get those jobs was intense. You had to know somebody in the trade/union hall to have enough influence to get hired. Where they were hired in to full time jobs at companies with union contracts, the wages were far above the average for the area. Not bad work ... if you can get into it. Also, these jobs paid wages that were higher than a lot of college degree required jobs in the area were paying.

In comparison, even as apprentices ... these jobs paid a heck of a lot more than the net income from small scale farms in our area. There simply isn't the cash flow out of these operations to pay these types of wages to hired help. Even the larger operations this year are seeing net incomes shrink; corn and soybeans are having banner year production rates and prices less than the cost of production (corn now down to the low $3/bu price, less than the cost of production for many operations).
That's what I meant when I said it is better for a person to go and learn a trade and get a proper job in town, while living modestly at home. Much more money can be saved plus you always have a trade to fall back on and use on the farm as extra income. A welder in our area can easily pull $80K per year if they are ambitious. A farmer? not even 1/8th of that. Large scale farmers spend their whole life in debt, small scale farmers spend their life in the red, fighting for survival. That's just reality. Ask Submariner how much these apprenticeships he advertises pay in Maine and let's do the math. At the end of the day, you don't really need to apprentice anywhere to grow things on your land, it is not rocket science, people have been doing for thousands of years without any special education.
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:42 PM
 
Location: NJ
173 posts, read 126,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
No experience is required. The idea is to get you onto your own farm.

We have got to get more farms going.

I completely agree. Regional production is the most vital resource a state or regional collective of states can have.


Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association > Programs > Farm Apprenticeships is this the organization you would recommend?
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:00 PM
 
Location: NJ
173 posts, read 126,143 times
Reputation: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
not from what I've seen in the union trade apprenticeships in my experience ...

most of the trades have a defined wage schedule with steps up to full journeyman pay over a given period of time.

For example, a neighbor's kid went into a 4-year plumbing apprenticeship. Started at 50% of journeyman wage (which was around $28/hr at the time). and it was raised every 6 months. Targeted to be full pay at 4 years as a plumber. He was on a job site where they offered him a PipeFitter apprenticeship, but they gave him a "bonus" by giving him 3 years apprentice standing when he hired in after 1 year as a plumber apprentice. The kid had grown up assisting in his stepfather's non-union plumbing company ... by the time he was out of high school, he was a skilled as a union card carrying journeyman.

Another neighbor, a master electrician for our rural electric co-op, got his kid into an apprenticeship for a lineman's job with the company. Within 2 years, he, too, was earning the journeyman wage and getting a lot of overtime with the typical winter season call-outs. Their contract calls for time and a half on weekend call-outs and double time on holidays.

Yet another got his kid into a low-voltage AC electrical apprenticeship (mainly doing communications wiring). Journeyman pay was almost $40/hr, and the starting wage for the apprentice was $20/hr + benefits. That's a $40,000 per year wage to start and the kid only had to endure that for the first 6 months. With a number of Davis-Bacon projects in the area, the kid had full time employment ahead for years at the time he was hired.

Noteworthy for these apprenticeships was the starting wage & benefits package was well above the average wages paid in the area for many jobs. Those apprenticeships were hardly a sacrifice for the kids to take on, and the competition to get those jobs was intense. You had to know somebody in the trade/union hall to have enough influence to get hired. Where they were hired in to full time jobs at companies with union contracts, the wages were far above the average for the area. Not bad work ... if you can get into it. Also, these jobs paid wages that were higher than a lot of college degree required jobs in the area were paying.

In comparison, even as apprentices ... these jobs paid a heck of a lot more than the net income from small scale farms in our area. There simply isn't the cash flow out of these operations to pay these types of wages to hired help. Even the larger operations this year are seeing net incomes shrink; corn and soybeans are having banner year production rates and prices less than the cost of production (corn now down to the low $3/bu price, less than the cost of production for many operations).
It's much better then room & board. Agreed. I am not comparing the exact costs. Farmer vs Electrician for example. Farming doesn't provide such money.

When I was younger before I decided on general business I was interested in the electrician apprenticeship. I have long time friend, who is union today. My younger cousin and one of his friends also now in the union in their early 20's.

None of them got paid that well as apprentices when they first started. It was more like $12 to $14. Then again it also depended on the gig and the union politics.
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Old 09-04-2015, 05:35 PM
 
9,145 posts, read 8,408,890 times
Reputation: 19907
Small farms are known as Hobby Farms. As several have told you, hobbies cost money to support them. The same for hobby farms, you need a good job to support the farm. Do not expect to make money from the farm. You do it because you like the life style, not to make a profit. Some years you earn a little money, the next year you may earn no income and you have to pay for everything out of your pocket.

What you have seen on this thread, is some dreamers. And crops change. One of the posters talked about raising Angora goats for their wool, and making money years ago. Today, there is not high priced market for the wool, and is letting their goats all die off.

In our area, a lot of corn is grown on good sized farms, and crops are sold to big seed companies. Two years ago they planted corn heavily, and had the same results we had on our home garden. Put on ears, but there was no corn on the ears. I fed our entire corn crop to the neighbors horse who loved it. The farmers just cut it and chopped it for animal feed. Recovered part of their expenses this year, but did not make a profit. Even big farms, have years when they don't make money and have to rely on the years they make a big profit. Then they save a bunch of it, so they can weather the years there is no profit, and they operate at a loss.

We have some apple trees, and I can have a few boxes of apples for our use, and some to give our grandchildren when their parents bring them to visit. This year we had heavy rains as the apples started blooming heavy. Washed them all away and not one apple this year. That is right, not even one apple on the trees.

A small hobby farm like you want, you need quite a little money to get it set up, and an income to keep it going. You have to be prepared, for years that make little or no money at all. You and your wife will need jobs.

When I sold these farms as a Real Estate Broker, I saw many people buy their dream farm, and a year or maybe 5 it was back on the market as they went broke and sold out. As a Realtor friend of mine that specialized in farms said, "Selling small farms, ensues that he will have a steady supply over the years of farms to sell as they come back on the market". It is a matter as how much money they have to start, and how good of jobs they have as to how long they will last before they have to sell out and move on.

It usually depends on how much you know about farming, as to how long you will last before selling out. The more you know, the longer you will last. The ones that really know, don't buy hobby farms in the first place.
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Old 09-04-2015, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,146 posts, read 50,314,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Wizard View Post
As I have posted a number of times previously, yes that is my regional Organic Certifier. They run our Apprenticeship / Journeyman programs. They recently began surveying former Journeymen, so far around 92% are still farming after 10 years and half fully own their farms.

MOFGA started in 1971. I think they are the first such organization in the USA.



All laborers must be paid. Anyone telling you that workers don't have to be paid is blowing smoke your ___ for some other political purpose or gain.

All Apprentices are paid. I can not imagine the reasoning why anyone would try to tell people otherwise. That is just silly.
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:00 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,925,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
All laborers must be paid. Anyone telling you that workers don't have to be paid is blowing smoke your ___ for some other political purpose or gain.

All Apprentices are paid. I can not imagine the reasoning why anyone would try to tell people otherwise. That is just silly.
From your own link's FAQ:
"This is largely dependent on the farm and is indicated explicitly in each profile. The usual apprenticeship is an immersive practicum involving labor in return for room and board, instruction, and experience. Some farms pay a cash stipend in addition."

By the way, MOFGA does look great and the prospective farms do look great, no doubt about that. When you actually look at the list of participating farms, most of them do pay a stipend. It, however, does not say how much.

Last edited by ognend; 09-04-2015 at 08:09 PM..
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Old 09-06-2015, 10:01 PM
 
5,071 posts, read 4,297,322 times
Reputation: 10854
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post
Small farms are known as Hobby Farms. As several have told you, hobbies cost money to support them. The same for hobby farms, you need a good job to support the farm. Do not expect to make money from the farm. You do it because you like the life style, not to make a profit. Some years you earn a little money, the next year you may earn no income and you have to pay for everything out of your pocket.

What you have seen on this thread, is some dreamers. And crops change. One of the posters talked about raising Angora goats for their wool, and making money years ago. Today, there is not high priced market for the wool, and is letting their goats all die off.

In our area, a lot of corn is grown on good sized farms, and crops are sold to big seed companies. Two years ago they planted corn heavily, and had the same results we had on our home garden. Put on ears, but there was no corn on the ears. I fed our entire corn crop to the neighbors horse who loved it. The farmers just cut it and chopped it for animal feed. Recovered part of their expenses this year, but did not make a profit. Even big farms, have years when they don't make money and have to rely on the years they make a big profit. Then they save a bunch of it, so they can weather the years there is no profit, and they operate at a loss.

We have some apple trees, and I can have a few boxes of apples for our use, and some to give our grandchildren when their parents bring them to visit. This year we had heavy rains as the apples started blooming heavy. Washed them all away and not one apple this year. That is right, not even one apple on the trees.

A small hobby farm like you want, you need quite a little money to get it set up, and an income to keep it going. You have to be prepared, for years that make little or no money at all. You and your wife will need jobs.

When I sold these farms as a Real Estate Broker, I saw many people buy their dream farm, and a year or maybe 5 it was back on the market as they went broke and sold out. As a Realtor friend of mine that specialized in farms said, "Selling small farms, ensues that he will have a steady supply over the years of farms to sell as they come back on the market". It is a matter as how much money they have to start, and how good of jobs they have as to how long they will last before they have to sell out and move on.

It usually depends on how much you know about farming, as to how long you will last before selling out. The more you know, the longer you will last. The ones that really know, don't buy hobby farms in the first place.
This.
This is real solid advice.
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