Farm Rescue Volunteer FAQ
Are there any age requirements to become a volunteer for Farm Rescue?
Yes. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old in order to volunteer.
What type of skills do I need to become a volunteer for Farm Rescue?
The more experience you have operating farm equipment the better. Specifically, we need volunteers who can operate tractors, planters, grain carts, combines, and semis. Occasionally, Farm Rescue requests volunteer support for activities such as transporting vehicles or assisting with office-related tasks, but a majority of our volunteer efforts take place in the field or on the road.
What will my job as a volunteer entail?
First and foremost, you will be representing Farm Rescue and must conduct yourself in a courteous and professional manner. First-time volunteers receive training from experienced volunteers on how to operate the planting unit or combine. Generally, experienced volunteers operate the equipment the majority of the time, until a newcomer has proven his/her ability and skills. Other duties while actively volunteering may include moving equipment, servicing equipment, hauling grain, or operating other farm machinery (grain cart, truck, semi, etc.).
What type of paperwork is involved in becoming a volunteer?
Initially, you will be asked to fill out a volunteer application form and are required to read and sign a Volunteer Release & Indemnity Agreement. (This agreement releases Farm Rescue from all personal injury or property liability should an accident occur. It also permits Farm Rescue to use photographs/interviews taken of you.) You will also be required to read and sign our Operational Rules, Field Guide, Talking Points, and Covid protocol.
Once each year, prior to being assigned to a case you will also be asked to consent to a background check.
Once actively volunteering, you will be responsible for filling out a daily work log. All paperwork and receipts must be turned into the Farm Rescue office upon completion.
How many days will you need me to volunteer?
We generally ask for at least a one-week commitment but are willing to try to work with your schedule.
Will I be working alone or with a group of volunteers?
You will not be working alone (unless you are a CDL volunteer supporting a short-term hay hauling campaign). Volunteers are assigned to a crew and farm location. Our crews range from two to five people, depending upon the season.
How do you handle lodging and meals for volunteers?
Volunteers who are coming from out of state are responsible for their lodging and meals to and from the region. Once in the service region, Farm Rescue will pay for all lodging and make reservations for you. Depending on the farm location, lodging is sometimes limited to a small-town motel. If the need arises in which you have to pay for any of your lodging, Farm Rescue will reimburse you for those expenses.
Farm Rescue will also pay for your meals (up to $30/day). Receipts must be submitted for reimbursement.
Will I receive compensation for my time volunteering?
Will I need to use my own personal vehicle while volunteering?
Typically, your vehicle will not be needed once you are here. We will make sure your vehicle is parked in a safe location. Farm Rescue has various pickup trucks that are used for travel to and from farm sites. In the rare instance that you would need to drive your vehicle to and from a farm site, Farm Rescue will reimburse you for any fuel expenses incurred.
What type of clothing will I need to bring with me?
Farm Rescue will provide you with a Farm Rescue jacket, shirts, and a cap that you will be required to wear while actively volunteering. You will need to bring all other attire such as gloves, jeans, work boots, etc. Depending on your location, you may or may not be close to laundromat facility.
What type of field supplies will I need to bring with me?
You do not need to bring any field supplies with you. Farm Rescue will provide you with safety glasses, masks, earplugs, a flashlight in each vehicle, and any other necessary tools to perform your job.
What if the weather is not feasible for planting/harvesting?
Unfortunately, the weather tends to interfere quite frequently. If there are no other volunteer duties that can be done at that time, you may end up spending your day in a motel room.
May I volunteer for Farm Rescue for more than one season?
Yes. The majority of our volunteers enjoy their experience and request to volunteer in the future. We cannot, however, guarantee a volunteer spot for you every season. The number of volunteers we have each season is based on our needs at that particular time.
May my friends or family members ride in the equipment with me?
For liability reasons, Farm Rescue does not allow anyone other than volunteers to ride along in the equipment.
May my friends or family members be on-site with me?
Only authorized visitors are allowed at operational field sites. Authorized visitors include Farm Rescue staff and board members, delivery personnel, business sponsor representatives, and members of the media. Friends and/or family members may make occasional, brief visits as long as they are in compliance with Farm Rescue policy and do not impact operations or present a safety hazard. Minors (anyone under age 18), including children/grandchildren of volunteers, must be accompanied by an adult other than the volunteer and may not visit the site without prior authorization.
May I use my cell phone while volunteering?
Yes. Most volunteers of Farm Rescue bring their own personal cell phones. This works well for communicating with other volunteers working in the field and with the Farm Rescue office. On occasion, the farm location can be very remote, and you may be in an area with no cell phone service.
May I bring my pet with me?