US Farmers Capitalize On Corn Mazes As 'Second Jobs' To Bring In The Cash

Farmers in the United States can make an honest living, with a reported average pay of $64,000 a year as of May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That's not a lot in 2016, of course, and to bring in the extra bucks, some farmers are utilizing their fields to create corn mazes and charge people to visit them.

Mike Wissemann, farmer and owner of Mike's Maze, uses eight acres of land to create family-friendly entertainment that includes Albert Einstein-themed corn maze pictures to a Halloween paintball wagon ride.

Wissemann charges $12 per adult for general admission (with student, senior, and children discounts available), which can add up, especially during the festive fall months.

To create these detailed corn mazes, a mower equipped with a GPS and a drone can be utilized, according to NPR.

Wisemann's daughter-in-law, Jess, has designed the mazes at the family farm for the past two years using Adobe Illustrator. The designs are then sent to Rob Stouffer of Precision Mazes, a company that specializes in customized corn maze attractions using GPS technology.

"He plots it in his tractor's GPS system. The design is overlaid on his screen. So as he moves through the field, the cutters can track where he is," Jess told NPR. "It doesn't actually guide him, though. He still has to navigate to make sure he's really precise."

The process for utilizing Stouffer's corn maze services can take anywhere from two weeks to two months, according to the company website