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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
I keep hitting this wall. I finally have a great(big) piece of land with a lot of potential. I am in a position to do just about anything I want to do. Several ways I could make a full time income from the land. I'm even discovering that there are all kinds of programs that I can get into since I am female (no, I don't think it's right, but it is what it is). Pretty much the possibilities are unlimited! Except for that aforementioned wall.

In my area the oil fields are currently going well. If you have a pulse, have not recently been incarcerated and can pass a drug test you can get a job. Frankly I don't want the ones that don't pass the same criteria. Add into that any mention of working with bees and that I'm female and all bets are off. Even if the oil field wasn't going good....how do you find someone that is willing to work....that knows HOW to work?!

I am so frustrated I just want to howl!!! For a while I thought I might be able to find a like minded fella, but I'm beginning to lose hope on that one. I get so danged frustrated that I keep threatening to just move to Mexico and have done with it. :grumble:

I almost wish I could just give up on my place, but it's not in my nature. I keep trying to do everything that needs to be done and then I get so discouraged I just about break down and cry.

This is all so much harder being single!
 

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Reluctant Adult
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8,956 Posts
It can certainly be challenging to run your own place as a single broad. But you’re more than up to it, I’m sure. :)

Some strategies that have been successful for me: Make friends, lots of them. True friends will lend a hand when things are really dire. I’ve had friends come help pull a heavy irrigation pump up a deep slope in the dark and rain (first year I was on my own and I forgot about it until a hard frost was eminent); house sit animals with challenges when I was unexpectedly called out of town; come at the drop of a dime to buck up a large tree that fell across my driveway in the middle of a big snow storm; and other such major kindnesses. Only a couple of weeks ago, friends came by and helped me split about 3 cords of super hard firewood rounds – that had been given me by another couple – with their log splitter. Another recently thanked me for dinner by mucking out my hen house. What a lovely gift, to not have to do that chore this year! So friends really can help you through the super tough spots.

More than that, they are the best folks to refer you to good tradespeople who can tackle those tasks that are too big for you or your skill set alone. I’ve found good carpenters, painters, handymen, electricians and plumbers with their help and recommendations. Networking is still your very best way to go.

In your situation, I’d also spend some time at the local livestock auction, get to know the regulars. Put it out there that you’re looking for reliable hired help, maybe post a notice or two there, as well as at the local feed and supply stores. Sooner or later, you’ll likely find someone good.

Best to you – I know it can be terribly frustrating!
 

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Have a Great Day!
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5,197 Posts
Good advice Rae*, I feel for You TexMex*, I can relate to Your struggles, even though I'm a man, I get overwhelmed, and wish I had someone by my side, or a good helper. If that is what You want-put it out there like Rae said. Referrals are Your best bet. All of You ST ladies impress the heck out of me, most of You could work me into the ground-I couldn't keep up! Just do the best that You can, I am sure that it is more than enough. As for a partner, look for those hard worker's, they are out there,You just have to find them(they are probably working!). I Hope You all find what You are looking for*
 

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Premium Member
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Do you really think guys in Texas don't like bees? That's sad on so many levels.

Not knowing your area and how the land lays, it's hard for me to offer knowledgeable advice. Honey sells great here, and since you like working with bees, is that a cash crop you should focus on maybe? If you have timber, select harvests can be another revenue stream that you can pretty much dictate in terms of timing (not very labor intensive either). Hay and pasture rental may also work in your area. If you don't mind being tied down and there are dairies near you, bottle calves might be an option. Cows are ridiculously high right now. Apparently there is a big overseas demand in addition to the guys out west wanting to rebuild herds after so many years of drought.

I'll quit rambling, and just wish you the best as you try to figure it out. But hey, a Winter in Mexico might not be a bad thing if the bee hives are strong enough to make it through the cold.
 

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Tex; don't get discouraged.
Get yourself a family of recent immigrants to live on the place and help you. Friend had a fellow live in his barn apartment, work elsewhere and pay for his rent with work on his days off or after his day job was done. An uncle had a family of them living on his place and working full time. I'll bet you can find help if you look around.
 

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Renegade Gypsy Queen
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2,126 Posts
Perhaps you should look for female workers. *shrug* (no I'm not volunteering, I have a job...but if you do need help...I'm willing on some weekends to come on over and give you a hand with whatever I can...just about anything to get out of the metroplex :))
 

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Argh, can't get my like button to work again. Consider yourselves all "liked", lol. :)

I know just how you feel TxMex. Before I moved out here seven years ago, I foolishly thought I could hire all the help I needed to get things done, but that was a pipedream! I hadn't found one single good worker in all that time until earlier this year when I actually had a plumber come promptly, do a great job and actually try to save me some money...then called back later when he realized he'd overcharged me on time to make sure I knew it was an accident, to apologize for it and to make sure I knew I was getting a refund. You could have knocked me over with a feather, lol!

All the other times have been horrible, no shows, show up late and do half the job and then disappear, do the job so horribly it had to be torn down and done completely over, etc. And I've paid really well, am totally flexible about hours, serve snacks, drinks, lunches or dinners depending on the hours, provide all the materials they need right up front, etc. I try to do everything I can to make the job as easy as possible, and it's still been a nightmare trying to get anything done.

I thought I'd be SO far ahead of where I am right now!!! Some days I feel like I'm never going to get to where I want to be and just want to walk away from it all, and I don't have anything like your big spread to deal with. But then I think about what it was like when I was stuck in the city, in a bad neighborhood and how stressful it all was, realize how lucky I am to have gotten the opportunity to be here and how no matter how far behind I am it's still 100, no 1000 times better than it was! So I try to be grateful for the blessings I do have and force myself to pretend to be happy until I really am, lol.

I do have a really bad mood and a little tiny snit wrapped up in a pity party about once every five years or so. It usually only lasts a few hours or so, maybe one full day, and then I'm fine again. I just recently had mine, so I'm good for another five years, ROFL! :D

I hope things go better for you or at least you're able to feel better about things and don't give up! You have my admiration (and my thanks for the tamale help,lol)! {{{hugs}}}
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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13,437 Posts
I feel your angst. It really is difficult to have to do it all by yourself. WHY does it have to be so hard to find a like-minded, compatible partner? It ain't like we're asking for the moon!

Sorry; no good advice from this end of the boat, and we *are* in the same boat!

Keep bailing!!!
 

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Premium Member
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Maybe you just need to get things chopped down into pieces.

Decide what you want to accomplish in the next 3 months, 6 month, and 12 months, and work on that. Then by year 2,3, 4, etc. Change your plan as you go along to build upon what you've done, and plan to do. Heck, make a diagram.

I think maybe you just ended up with too much on your plate at once.

Mon
 

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Discussion Starter #12
All good suggestions. I have lots of contacts in this area. Heck I'm kin to a large portion of the populace. I have asked for folks to let me know if they know of anyone that would be willing to work. I've been begging for someone to come do the remodeling work on my house. The economy is too good in this area.

As to hiring some 'recent immigrants'....the old established immigrants have educated them and you can't get anyone for under $15 an hour. They can go get fake green cards and work in the oil field. Not to mention I try not to be a hypocrite as I'm against illegal immigration.

Yes, bees are a large part of what I am planning. I will be producing at a minimum of 100 nucleus hives this coming spring. Demand is such that I can sell all I can produce. I also have several other really good options.

Yes there is a beekeepers association here locally. I've been a beekeeper for 23 years. When I go there I am treated like I am a beginner though a lot of the older beekeepers have known me since I got started. I do not have the type of personality that suffers this easily. I have started mentoring beginners on my own without any club involvement. I worked with 20 students this year. While many of them offer help I have found that when it comes down to actually doing so that folks are generally too busy.

It's not that I haven't been trying.
 

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Conscientious Disrupter
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Appears to me, your formula for casting about to find help is sound. Yet, your need for forward motion is being poked in the back by impatience while loneliness goads it on. The two together are what drives you nuts. I'm no expert! Just trying to look at it from the view point of someone not in the driver's seat. Over and over, I've heard accounts of people trying to get a venture going who say the biggest single lesson they had to learn was to be patient. Great advice above. And it seems you'd agree cuz you're already doing a lot of it.

As far as the like minded guy to share your vision... could be the timing is just not right (a million reasons). Could be there's a guy out there in the ether -or just a few miles away- who's thinking, "Man! If it wasn't for (this or that) I would be so there, getting to know that woman." Just something to chew on.
 

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Very Dairy
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My boss has the same problem here -- the oil fields can pay more than he can so they get the good workers. Recently he hired a 16-year-old kid who is doing a bang-up job for us, though. Polite, hard-working young man.

What about checking with the local 4H or FFA program? Just remember the old rule of thumb about hiring youngsters: "One boy is a boy. Two boys are half a boy. Three boys are no boy at all." :hysterical:
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #16
Appears to me, your formula for casting about to find help is sound. Yet, your need for forward motion is being poked in the back by impatience while loneliness goads it on. The two together are what drives you nuts.
Bingo!!! I am a very goal oriented person.

Patience? Not with myself or with what I want to get done. With other folks I probably have too much patience.

FFA kids are pretty much only interested in raising critters and selling them for big money. Already made inquiries.
 

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is there a jr college around Tyler with an Ag program? Maybe some of those foks would be interested.
 

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...........Given the size of your farm I'd think you would be collecting a nice royalty check each month ! If so , why don't you hire a married Mexican husband\wife team with Green Cards and start building your 'herd' ? Wasn't your cousin raising cattle on the place before you became the new owner ? And , it already has sufficient hay field production to feed several cow\calf pairs through the winter . So , I guess I don't understand your confusion ! You are fluent in conversational Mexican and a mexican team would seem to be the perfect solution to your labor problem . , fordy
 

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First, willow girl is right about hiring boys. At my workplace
they hire after school students, mostly 16 and 17 year olds.
It's hit and miss. Often depends on how their parents raise them.
They can be a real pain to get them to actually 'work'. I find that
country raised boys do better, getting jobs done. Not sure
exactly why. Maybe it's the work ethic is better out of town .

As for you looking for a 'Like minded' partner. You
May not want to hear this, but you need to evaluate what
it is you are looking for. If it's for 'help wanted'... That simply
could drive away exactly what you might be looking for .
If it's simply a 'like minded' beekeeper you want , it might
be better to draw up a business contract partnership and keep
the romantic relationship otherwise. Just my friendly experienced
Opinion.
 

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It appears everyone is giving you some good advice.

The only other thing I would say is to check with your local fire departments. Every area that I have ever been in, firemen are handymans galore. Typically being a fire fighter doesn't pay much at all, but they love it. So they usually have tons of other things they can do to supplement their income.
When I lived in DFW area, I was able to get plumbing, electric, drywall work down by firemen as well as a very nice back deck put on the house we were selling. And it was all at a fraction of the cost of going through a company.

Also, another resource to use would be social media.
I am on Facebook and have joined several groups in my area. Local backyard beekeeping, urban backyard farming, the local farmer's market facebook page, etc. I've made several new friends and found someone that I recently bartered with for 7 new chickens. I've seen several of them advertise when they are butchering chickens and pigs and they have dozens clamoring to come over and watch so that they can learn. They turned it into a big potluck event.
If you don't see any pages like that in your area, you can always start one yourself. I'm betting you would have a lot of people join.
 
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