Off-Farm Income

I don't know if you have noticed, but his show is about non-conformists and people who look at the world a different way.  All of us fit that definition a little bit by the mere fact that we want to farm and only 2% of our population is in that career field.  But what about that person that says "why do I have to do it that way"?

Today's guest, Ben Rykerd, is that person.  Ben is now 29 years old.  He describes himself as having a "travel bug" and he has known this since he was a kid.  So, as high school was coming to a close Ben didn't just take the next prescribed step in the journey, he stopped and asked himself what type of life he wanted to have.

Ben also didn't look at things through the lens of an "either/or" mentality.  He looked at "and" solutions.  He knew that he wanted to travel, and he knew that he both had to and wanted to work.  But, he never made the statement "I want to travel, but I can't because I have to work".  Ben found a way to say "I want to travel, and I can because of my work".

Ben first looked into being a truck driver, because that would get him out on the road and allow him to see the U.S.  However, he was not going to be eligible for a license that would allow him to drive outside of his home state until he was 21.  So, he started looking at alternatives.  What he ended up finding was working on a custom harvesting crew.  He found an operation in Kansas that was hiring, and he knew that working there would take him all throughout the Grain Belt and allow him to see a lot of the United States.  After one email, he was hired!

That crew, which Ben worked with for four years, was the opening of an exciting adventure.  On this crew, he had coworkers from Australia and New Zealand, and they told him all about the farm work available to him down there.  Before he knew it, he was working on a dairy in New Zealand, learning something totally new about agriculture.  Soon, he found himself in the vast interior of Australia on a custom harvest crew.  He has also worked in Canada and continues to work in the U.S., now on a custom farming crew.  Ben has his eyes set on Ireland, Finland, and Germany as well.

In this episode, Ben talks about how he got started, the Visa he obtained to do this, how to extend your time in Australia, how much money you need to get yourself started, and much more!

Connect with Ben Rykard at:

Instagram: @Dirtbag_Ag