Tuesday, December 10, 2013

in praise of ranch kids

Picture from here
I think I've mentioned this before, but it's on my mind again, since I went to a meeting today about seasonal hiring.  I firmly believe that, at least for the jobs I hire for, your best bet is a former ranch (or farm) kid.  Here's why.

1.  Ranch kids are used to getting up early.  On fires, we often have to be at morning briefings at 5 am.  The ranch kids are always on time, and don't complain about how early it is.

2.  They are used to doing all kinds of dirty, difficult jobs.  Did they take care of animals, fix fence, deal with cows?  This means they'll happily fight fire, clear trails, and work on vehicles. 

3.  They're used to getting paid little, if at all.  Some of these guys and gals grew up doing work around the ranch because they were part of the family, not for money.  Later in life they're grateful for the opportunity to work hard and make money doing it.  I've never met a ranch kid who felt entitled or wanted to know what I could do for him, rather than the other way around.

4.  They're fit.  Lots of hard physical work in the outdoors will do that for you.

5.  Bad weather doesn't faze them.  Have you BEEN to a ranch in eastern Montana?  Pretty harsh weather, people!

6.  They're self sufficient.  A. grew up on a ranch near the Canadian border; the closest town has 300 residents.  Obviously, he had no problem working alone.  He was always happy to see other people though!

5.  They're usually cheerful.  I'm sure there's some grumpy farm boys and girls out there, but I have yet to meet them!  One of my favorite ranch kids, "Danimal", always had a smile on his face, even when dodging bears (his other nickname was "Bear Bait").

Any ranch/farm kids out there?  Tell me what other positive traits I've missed!

9 comments:

  1. Pick me, pick me! I'm up at 4:30 every morning without fail!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My internal clock is messed up. And I run really early in the morning!

      Delete
  2. I grew up in suburbia (well, until 12, then it was pretend rural where you got to have a few animals but you weren't really on a farm.) But my children are growing up in farming central up here in Vermont. They go out and take care of the animals, no matter the weather. Their friends, who come from REAL farming families, are amazing kids who will help with anything and do it with a smile and I'm so glad my kids are like them. So, I wholeheartedly agree. But, one thing to add to the list? They can brainstorm very well on the fly because when things go wrong in the field at 5AM you don't have time to go google it and pick and choose. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Give them some baling wire, rope, and a couple of tools and they can fix almost anything that's broken down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true! The ranch kids I've employed made some tough physical training stations out of an old rope and a piece of plywood.

      Delete
  4. I grew up in a farm community, though not on a farm. I remember having to go get the neighbor farmer when a cow strayed into our yard and terrified our cats, ha ha. On a farm or not, kids should be raised to work hard, become self-sufficient, and earn respect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! I don't have kids, so I can't comment on other people's parenting choices too much, but every year I run into more and more entitled and (this sounds bad but it's true) kind of lazy people who want the best jobs, most money handed to them.

      Delete

I try to answer all comments, so comment away!