If you love the great outdoors, want to be your own boss, and have a desire to make a real difference in today's world while escaping the hustle and bustle of a 9-5 job, you may be dreaming of having your own farm. With some places offering substantial land and money for farms and homesteads, more and more people are dreaming of planting food and raising herds. While it's certainly possible to make a living as a farmer, it can be difficult at the beginning. If you are dreaming about the farmer's life, here are three things to consider before you begin your new adventure.
Develop a Business Model
Remember that when you are starting a farm, you are starting a very complex business that will require a business model in order to succeed. When doing so, you will need to focus on your farm's operations, finances, and marketing. In most cases, the work that you are doing on your farm now, pre-season or post-season, won’t be profitable until the following season when you are harvesting your crops or selling your cattle. Your business model should include a description of your production system, transportation and storage needs, the marketing methods you will use to reach your target market, and where you expect your farm to be financially within one year, five years, and 10 years.
Don't Quit Your Day Job Immediately
Starting a farm is considered to be a very risky business proposition. As a result, many new farmers like yourself often keep a day job while they are getting their farms up and running. Since you will need to acquire various pieces of farm equipment, it’s ideal to work with a company like Bane-Welker Equipment. A farm equipment company can help you acquire whatever equipment you need at the best price available while still ensuring the quality is good. Once you have the equipment purchased or leased financed, then you will have a better idea of how long you need to keep working at your day job while funding your new farm.
You'll Rely on Relationships
When you start your farm, there will be plenty of things you won't know. Therefore, you will need to develop a variety of relationships along the way in order to build your farm into a successful venture. Not only will you need to get to know other farmers who are also new to the business, but also ones who have had generations of farmers in their families. Also get to know extension agents, vendors, farming veterinarians, and anyone else who can help your business. By tapping into the knowledge of experienced farmers and others, you'll likely experience far fewer sleepless nights.
Off-Grid Farms vs In the City
One of the most common pictures that people have in their mind when thinking about living on a farm is out in the open spaces and away from the hustle and bustle of city life. However, there are some things that make living off-grid challenging. For example, getting electricity and clean drinking water are among the first challenges that you need to overcome when starting an off-grid farm. For many people, off-grid living is part of the enjoyment of farming. If this is the case for you, then it may be the perfect thing for you. That is, of course, if you’re able to learn and adapt quickly enough to the land and your needs. However, if you are more interested in staying closer to town so you can stay connected to the grid with plumbing, electrical and freshwater, then you may be more limited in your location options. With the limitations in where you can set up your farm, you may want to consider finding a farm that has already been established and whose owners are interested in selling. Unfortunately, the farming industry hasn’t been declining over the last few years. This decline is not only challenging for you as a newcomer to farming but it is also an opportunity for you to purchase an already established farm at a decent price.
Now that you know a few things you will need to give serious thought to regarding a farming life, it will be easier to make the best decision on how to proceed. If you are up to the challenges that lie ahead, living the farmer's life can be satisfying and rewarding both personally and professionally.