The United States is experiencing an
unprecedented shortage of farmers.
In fact, thereís been a poor farmer
harvest for some years now.
Apparently, there are now
more bus drivers than farmers in the country. Thatís a shocking
realization for a country historically built upon agriculture.
Sure, farming is far from dead in the
dirt (thereís still the same old demand for beef there always has
been!). But, the fact of the matter is, the US could always do with
more farms than there currently are.
Which is why itís awesome youíre
thinking of starting your own farming business! Thatís presumably
why youíre here, anyway! We want to help ensure you make your
aspirations come true.
Looking for some advice on how to
start a successful farm? Youíre in the right place.
Keep reading the 9 essential tips for
starting your very own farm business.
1. Have a Plan
Youíre about to embark on one epic
The road ahead wonít be easy; there
will be plenty of ups and downs to come. It would be foolish to jump
into it willy-nilly.
In simple terms, you need a plan of
Planning is a key principle behind any
successful business venture. Itís about looking ahead to where you
want to be and breaking it down. Set yourself milestones with
associated timeframes attached to them.
Look ahead to potential obstacles and
plan accordingly. You donít want to stumble at the first hurdle.
Planning in advance means youíve already predicted a certain
challenge. When it arises, you have a plan in place for overcoming
Itís also about assessing the
competition. Thereís no point starting a farm if there are ten
others already competing for the same customer! This is a recipe for
failure. Effective planning helps sidestep saturated markets.
Always start your farming journey with
an accurate plan for how youíll get to the end result you want.
2. Know Your Market
Planning and market research go hand
We already alluded to this in the
previous tip. First off, you donít want to farm something that
already has a huge amount of competition. Unless you can guarantee a
superior product and are a top marketer, then your farm is far more
likely to struggle.
Itís far better to farm something
thatís in higher demand and has a lack of supply.
Likewise, you absolutely have to know
who youíre farming for in advance.
Essentially, who is your target
customer and where can you find them? Itís no good setting up a farm
thatís 1000 miles from where they are.
Itís your job to know the where, the
who and the how:
ē Where will you sell your product?
ē Who is going to buy it?
ē How will you get it to them
Know these things before you get to
work. Itís about prior preparation. Donít do it and leave yourself
open to catastrophic failure upon harvesting your goods.
You might consider planning for change
as well. Have backups in place, just in case your primary customer
or marketplace disappears suddenly.
Remember, forecast, expect problems
and plan ahead how to handle them.
3. Set Realistic Goals
Goal-setting is a major part of this
Goals provide honing beacons to work
towards. The milestones you set yourself determine where youíre
heading. The overall task might seem too large to comprehend.
Itís a monster that can be tough to
tackle. Overly daunting, many people get put off before they really
Breaking it into smaller, achievable
steps makes it feel more achievable. Itís also a major help in
visualizing what you need to do.
Farming might seem like a mystery at
the beginning. Planning inevitably encompasses a level of research.
This can prove enlightening, and provide the necessary insight and
tools to take appropriate action.
4. Buy Your Land
You might already have available land
at your disposal.
If thatís your position, then skip
ahead to tip number 5.
For everyone else, listen up: to have
a farm, you first need some land to put it on. Mind-blowing stuff,
Itís obviously a vital piece of the
puzzle to think about though. Again, this relates to your plan. Not
all land is the same in terms of farming capability.
There may be irrigation issues.
Depending on where you are in the country, the weather may be a key
consideration too. The soil may be another important thing to think
If you know what you want to farm,
then itís key to find suitable land. That means itís of the right
standard and size to make it fit for purpose.
Of course, acquiring land isnít cheap.
This may take a loan to cover (more on debt-related matters later).
Likewise, got any plans to expand in the future? Make sure thereís
the potential for it wherever you buy your first plot.
5. Use Your Land Appropriately
We hinted at this in tip number 3.
But itís definitely worth
Make sure you farm in accordance with
your landís particular merits. Itís tempting to try and bend land to
our will. We see it as a blank canvas that you can do anything with.
In reality, that isnít always the
case. The size, location, particular dimensions, fencing,
water-access, soil-quality, and so on, all come into play.
Sometimes, our hands are tied by the land itself.
Take certain animals. You might want
to raise ducks on a strip of greenery. But if they donít have any
access to a natural water source, it can be a recipe for disaster.
Youíd be far better off sticking with cattle or sheep.
6. Farm What Youíre Interested in
Okay, the land can play a role in what
you might be able to farm.
But thereís always wiggle room-
especially if youíre buying the land beforehand.
Itís important to farm something you
have a passion in. That doesnít always align with the most lucrative
option. Itíll sure as hell make your life more enjoyable though.
Hate cows? A cattle farm is never
going to be fun.
Itís worth keeping in mind how
demanding (physically, mentally and emotionally) farming can be. It
takes time, effort, and an enormous investment of work.
Itís far easier to remain motivated
when you value the fruits of your labor. Love poultry? Start a
chicken farm. Love apples? Plant an orchard. Want grapes? Create a
vineyard. Heck, niche right down if needs be- create CBD products
for animals (like this
CBD oil for horses)!
7. Acquire Experience
Experience is the key to a successful
You can learn all the theory you like.
You can gather as much upfront investment as you need.
Without the requisite hands-on
experience, youíre unlikely to succeed. Gather that experience over
time. You donít need to be an expert before you start your own farm.
But it definitely pays to know what
youíre getting into. Planning and goal setting becomes more
realistic- theyíre based upon knowledge and past trial and error.
Read books, speak with consultants,
visit other farms, work on other farms, and so on. Heck, you could
experiment on your own farm too. Youíll definitely gain experience
anyway. Start small and expect failure. This trial by fire approach
always proves enlightening.
8. Avoid Debt Where Possible
You donít need to take on masses of
debt to start a successful farm.
Farming is unpredictable. Loan repayments can be a serious struggle.
Theyíre always a burden. But for farmers trying to make a success of
their venture, they can prove too much.
Many new farmers try to start too
large and take on too much debt upfront.
Itís usually a better idea to begin at
a smaller scale and slowly build up. This approach has a host of
Firstly, the required loan size will
be smaller. Second, thereís less risk involved. Finally, you can
incrementally expand your experience and expertise, without taking
on too much at once.
9. Market Your Farm Early on
Marketing is central to the success of
The same holds for farms.
Itís always a good idea to start your
marketing endeavors early. Having a product is great. Itíll be far
easier to sell when you already have a line of interested customers
outside the door.
Setting up an online presence in
advance can be a great first step.
blog or video log where you record the setup process. You could
create content that addresses key farming challenges. Perhaps you
could demonstrate your expertise and knowledge into the product
Whatever you do, marketing in this way
can develop interest and exposure prior to officially opening. This
outside awareness will be a major boost when you start to sell the
Time to Start Your Farm Business
There you have it: 9 key tips for
starting your very own farm business.
Farming has long been on the decline
in the United States. This is sad news for a country with a rich
agricultural history. Simply,
the rise of
technology and shifting cultural ideas have equated to a
dwindling supply of farms.
However, the industry is far from
dead! There will always be the need for agriculture, and thereís
always an opportunity for new farmers to start a successful farm
from scratch. All it takes is the right approach!
Hopefully, this post has highlighted
exactly how to make it happen.
Want more outdoorsy articles like
this? Head to the ĎTips and Articlesí section of our blog now!