How appropriate to ask a nearby farmer if you could do volunteer work on his/her farm?

Asked November 24, 2019, 11:20 AM EST

I live in a subdivision that is surrounded by nearby farms? How appropriate would it be to ask a nearby farmer if they could ever use some volunteer work on their farm? If so, how would you go about doing that for correct channels of contact? :)

Travis County Texas

1 Response

There is nothing inappropriate for one to offer to volunteer with a neighboring farmer. I think most farmers would be open to having some responsible assistance for their operation(s). If you already know the farmer just approach said farmer and ask if you may take a minute of their time and tell them what you have in mind. If you don't already know the farmer, try to learn their name and their routine and, when appropriate, position yourself in a manner where you can get their attention (wave at them over the adjoining fence, catch them coming or going from the property, or if possible, acquire their phone number and call them). Make your offer in a manner that will allow them get back to you at a later time so that they may have some time to think about your offer. There are valid reasons that might give a farmer pause about accepting volunteer assistance and having to make a snap decision may result in a negative response (some aspects of farming are more dangerous than others). Please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions or would like to discuss further. I wish you well in your effort to volunteer.

All the best,

Noel Troxclair
County Extension Agent - Ag/Natural Resources
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Travis County
1600B Smith Road, Austin, Texas 78721