While most teenagers are enjoying their summer going on vacation or laying around the house being lazy and watching TV, Jake Surber of New Albany is earning an honest living and learning adult responsibilities.
Surber works at Wise Farms in Ecru as a farmhand and is an all around helper under Stanley Wise. Wise is the owner of Wise Farms and the director at the Union County Extension Office. Surber works for Wise full-time in the sumer and part-time during the school year and has been since age 11. He is 16 years old now and continues to work there until he graduates high school and comes home on school breaks.
Jacob Surber (Jake), is the son of Kim and Jimmy Surber of New Albany and is a junior at New Albany High School (NAHS).
“I love this job. I love being outside. It gives me something productive to do and helps me stay out of trouble,” Surber said.
Surber’s responsibilities include mowing the yard, tilling and plowing the dirt for planting, weed eating, fertilizing and watering the crops, helping out at the Union County Fair, and helping out at the annual October Wise Corn Maze.
When Surber graduates from NAHS, he wants to major in either law enforcement or agricultural engineering.
“Working, paying my own bills, buying my own things, and being at work at the same time every day teaches me responsibility and independence at an age younger than most teenagers. Some kids are lazy and have everything bought for them and they are not taught responsibility or how to be independent and when they get to college, they don’t know what to do,” said Surber.
At age 13, Surber purchased his own 4-wheeler with the money he had earned. It cost $2,500 and he said, “It means more buying something on my own with the money I had worked so hard for.”
“I am taught how to save money and how to be independent at a young age and my parents are proud of me. A lot of times my friends want be to come and hang out, but I tell them that I can’t go sometimes because working and going to school are my priorities,” said Surber.
He will continue to work with the Wise family for as long as possible. “The Wise’s are like a family to me.”