You’ve done it! You’ve quit your office job, and you’re ready to fulfill your dream of becoming a farmer. Before you put a corn stalk between your teeth, however, here are just a few tips for making sure that you know what you’re doing.
1. Mind Your Money
Unless you’re independently wealthy or taking over an existing farm, you’re probably going to need a loan. The good news is that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has all kinds of programs to help. Between loans, grants, tax breaks and general financial assistance, they’re willing to help new farmers find their feet in many ways.
2. Do Your Homework
This is especially important when raising livestock. You don’t get any do-overs if you lose a cow or hog, and when that happens, you might as well throw your money right down the drain. Take the time to learn about animal care before you bring any living creatures on your land. Make sure that you understand how to feed, water, exercise, shelter and groom them.
3. Don’t Cut Corners
You might be tempted to take shortcuts with the creation of your new farm. Don’t do it! Go ahead and spring for the nice hardwood when building your horse stables, and don’t worry about the expense when it comes to things like farm gate openers. You’ll be using them a lot. Consider them investments for the future.
4. Analyze Your Performance
Once you’ve been in business for a few months, take a look around and evaluate what you’re doing. You might not be turning a profit yet, but are you breaking even? Have you set up good connections with local vendors? Are your crops growing? Are your animals thriving? Is your farm going to be sustainable in the long run?
These are just a few tips for starting your own farm. As you can see, there’s a lot more to the process than simply planting a few seeds and buying a pair of overalls. You’ll need to be truly dedicated if you want to become a successful landowner and livestock breeder. Good luck!