Farm work is the most honorable work there is, and that should be clearly translated from employer to employee. If we want more people in agriculture, employers need to lift people up, not grind them down. Workers should feel valued and respected. When I pay entry level farm hands to dig and plant tree seedlings in my nursery, I pay $20/hr, I give them extensive training on every little detail, I let them ask a million questions, and I work alongside them all day so that they build up trust in themselves that they know what they're doing and they're doing it as good as I would do. I don't just want anyone who works for me for a week to be able to go off and start their own tree nursery, I want them to feel empowered and inspired to actually go and do it. What I don't want is for them to be like "Man, digging trees is hard work for crappy pay, I'd rather get a tech job."
That's how it was on my first farm job (age 11) hand moving irrigation pipe and also moving motorized wheel lines on about 100 acres of alfalfa. Before being cut loose on my own, I did the job alongside the farm owner for the first week, even though it was a super basic job that I probably could have done after being shown once. It was two wheel lines and one hand line, each 1 move per day, every day. It took about 1 hour per day to move the three lines and I was paid $10/hr. Paid weekly, summer of 1996. Adjusting for inflation that would be $19.48 per hour in 2023.
Today there are way more job openings than job seekers, but if the balance of the current job market were reversed to say Great Depression era conditions, your expectations as an employer might be more reasonable. Nowadays people job hop all the time and it's pretty widely understood that "minimum wage is for minimum effort."
Tree felling is dangerous work and I would never let an entry level farm hand to do that sort of work, much less on their own and without training. If they did have experience felling trees, I would think they would be much better suited to get a job as faller on a logging crew, as the 2022 mean salary for that is $27.95/hr: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes454021.htm
. Or they could just go into the firewood business, as cords of firewood are currently selling for between $200 - $350 per cord on craigslist.
As for driving a tractor / trailer / excavator, I wouldn't let an entry level person anywhere near heavy equipment without extensive training or even accredited certification, both for their sake and the equipment's, like any legit company would do. Otherwise you're setting yourself up for "Well Boss, Jimmy ran over Bobby's leg and put him in the hospital, the excavator's on its side in the ditch, but that's fine because you were only paying Jimmy and Bobby minimum wage."
Expectation that someone can work all day independently is something that I do agree with, but I wouldn't expect it on day one because farms are crazy complicated, each farm is unique in where/how things are stored or operated, and if they don't have a ton of questions about every little thing, they should. To me, if a farm hand can meet all those expectations on day one, they by definition aren't entry level, and they should be paid quite a lot more than minimum wage.