A good number of my ancestors, especially those from Devon and Cornwall, in England, were listed as Agricultural Labourers (aka Ag Lab) on the census records.
An agricultural labourer was one who tilled the soil, and/or worked on the land for a living.
Over 100 years ago, Agriculture was a labour intensive industry. Farmers required humans to till the land, sow seeds, harvest the crops and then do it all over again, year after year, no matter what the weather was like. The country needed food to eat. So it was necessary and safe. A life long job so to speak.
In the 20th century, and especially after World War 2, crops have been sown and harvested by machine, soil has been tilled by machines and some crops are now even harvested by machines.
The job title Agricultural Labourer is no longer in use. Indeed if any farms do require humans to harvest their crops, they are now forced to use foreign labour since harvesting does not always pay much these days.
Back in the 1980s, I spent 3 summers as an AG LAB - picking raspberries on a farm just outside of Nelson in NZ.
It was meant to be a means of making money and saving up a bit. But it turns out that I am not suited to the life style of an Ag Lab at all.
Simply put, I was hopelessly slow at picking raspberries. The number of buckets of raspberries I collected per day was considerably lower than the numbers of buckets that other people collected. The main reason is because we were standing for hours in the hot sun, searching through prickly branches looking for every last raspberry to grab.
I was having to stop every few minutes to drink some water. Summers in the Nelson region can be quite hot at times.
Since my output was low, I barely made enough money to cover my own food which I had to provide. The farm owner provided cabins for sleeping in, at no cost, but nothing else.
I do not envy the life of an Ag Lab at all!!