Many young, university-educated adults these days go to work on organic farms as volunteers and interns, despite that this work is extremely demanding, painful, and has been historically demeaning. Through interviews and discussions with students, I have learned that many who participate in these ventures do so to travel, gain experience, and support organic farms yet rarely consider the impact of their voluntary labor on waged labor. I suggest that their interest in DIY experimentation more generally reflects different relationships to work than their middle-class parents enjoyed, as middle-class jobs become less desirable and attainable. I then juxtapose their chosen precarity with the situation of migrant farmworkers who are valued for their labor but do not receive biopolitical recognition. I conclude this research-inspired thought piece by positing that young adults who volunteer on farms and engage in other acts of self-provisioning may indeed be engaged in a politics of work reconfiguration but not one of solidarity.
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