Picking Up More Land and Finding the Best Help

As you know, we picked up another 4,000 acres to add to our operation this year. I’m going in on it with a neighbor, and that’s going great so far. The place had been pretty 

neglected for the last four years, and we actually got it broken and disced and whipped into shape. We ended up getting about 800 acres of wheat planted on it and got the remainder rowed up and ready to plant. So we’re in good shape up there. It’s almost identical to our other fields in terms of soil types. It’s sandy dirt. So we’re going to do the same things on those fields as on our others — but we’ll just have more acres to use this season.

But now that we have so much extra land, our biggest problem is finding good labor. I guess you could blame it on education — though we blame it on other things — but lack of labor down here is horrific. If you’re a good, experienced operator and you’re young, you’re in very high demand. I was looking to hire two guys — I called them the day I found out they were available, but they had already been offered jobs.

I’ve got a friend that teaches at a little two-year college down the road, and he tells me that everyone who comes to him to learn has been sent by their bosses — everyone’s already working. So there’s really nowhere else to find skilled labor.

I did find one good hire — he was actually in construction before this. He’s a young guy and he shows a lot of promise.  So we’re eager, and we’re putting tanks on tractors and going through planters. Just getting everything ready to get the season kicked off.