Starting a farm is more accessible than ever with modern technology and education. However, it’s not an easy task.
It can actually be incredibly dangerous. So do your due diligence in preparing yourself before you dive blindly into the business, regardless of whether you’re simply farming as a hobby.
So this guide will give you the necessary insight into starting a farm and help you decide whether it is the right move for you.
Before you purchase anything, you need to conduct market research to determine whether there will be demand in the area for the product you want to cultivate.
Proper research can save you loads of time and money. In addition, knowing which products will sell in your desired location is critical for avoiding overstock and unrecoverable failure.
Many farms around the country are family-owned and operated. Therefore, many farmers were raised in the industry and had an advantage in the first place.
If you don’t know the ropes of agriculture, you’ll want to gain experience before investing in your business.
There are infinite resources online to teach you the basics of agriculture. However, you need hands-on experience. So, it’s crucial to apply for an apprenticeship on a local farm.
Then, spend a year or so working for someone else to see if you can handle the hardships and hazards of the job.
You can also expand your knowledge by earning a degree in an online MBA in Sustainability. This will help you analyze practical scenarios in the food and agriculture industry and develop an understanding of what it takes to manage an agricultural business.
A critical component of farming is having adequate space and soil to cultivate crops and raise livestock. You have two options for finding land: rent or own.
Many new farmers choose to rent land in the first few years of operation, reducing startup costs and financial risk. However, when you buy land of your own, you have complete control over its use.
Just be sure to weigh which options are more affordable for you.
When searching for prospective farmland, you’ll need to check a few things: soil quality, water access, and surroundings.
Current owners should be able to provide soil quality reports and details on water connections. As for the surroundings, make sure you’re close enough to the markets you wish to sell your products.
Additionally, make friends with the neighbors, especially if they are farmers. Networking with others is one of the best things you can do for your business.
Plus, you can share resources and avoid disputes over the land down the line.
Having adequate equipment before starting is a necessity. Depending on your niche, you must conduct research to determine what you need to succeed.
However, expect to get standard farming equipment such as tractors with attachments, ATVs, and wheelbarrows.
Additionally, you’ll need to consider your safety on the job. It’s easy to get carried away and forget to hydrate or protect yourself from the sunlight and extreme heat.
A John Deer tractor canopy can make your job more comfortable and protect you from sunburn. Then, consider large cup holders to carry water bottles.
If you struggle with remembering to hydrate yourself, set alarms for every hour or so on your phone to remind you to drink water.
Acquiring the funds to start your farm is an essential part of the process. How else do you expect to purchase equipment and land?
Thankfully, there are many resources for sustainable agricultural businesses to receive funding, so you need to know where to look.
If you’d like to apply for a grant, consider hiring a professional grant writer to improve your chances of being approved. Otherwise, a small loan may be the way to go.
If you’ve correctly conducted market research, you know there’s a demand for your product. However, finding a place to sell can be tricky.
If your farm is located in an area that has enough traffic, consider opening a produce stand right on the property. On the other hand, you can work with local grocery stores and farmers’ markets to sell your products if your land isn’t easily accessible to the public.
Starting a business requires some behind-the-scenes formalities. First, you’ll need to write a business plan to prove that you’re prepared for the job ahead.
Then, you must register your business as a formal entity, such as an LLC or S-corp. Next, you’ll obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for tax filing, hiring employees, and opening a business bank account.
At this point, you should hire an accountant to help you manage your expenses wisely.
Starting a farm is a lot of work, but it’s rewarding nevertheless. Once you know your target market and have a solid plan for the road ahead, you can start making your dreams come true.
Just ensure that you have the proper experience, land, and equipment to get the job done and yield a profitable harvest.