If you are considering a career in farming or just getting started, take a minute to think about your next steps.
Successful farmers will tell you that farming is not just a career. Farmers take great care of the land and water for future generations; they work together to build strong, close-knit communities; they feed families, located both next door and across the globe.
But being a farmer or rancher is not simply a job change. It is a life change.
Some people want to start farming based on a strong sense of mission. For example, they want to protect the environment or help feed the world. Some people simply want to enjoy an entrepreneurial lifestyle that allows them to work outdoors. Whatever your reasons, you should step back and take a practical view of the farming lifestyle.
A business plan details what you hope to do and maps how you expect to succeed. A well-crafted business plan can be the difference between success and failure and includes a thoughtful list of what you need but also details how things will get done.
A plan also considers the things that might go wrong and how to prepare for the unexpected.
A good business plan is supplemented by a personal plan. Have you considered:
You may feel very strongly about your farm product but consider the following:
Do you know the relevant Federal, state, and local food safety regulations and do you have the proper licensing for your state or municipality? You must know local ordinances dealing with land use and agricultural products for farming and marketing your crop.
You may want to farm but does your spouse or partner? What about your children? Are they ready to take on this lifestyle change? Will you be moving away from your support network of friends and family? Can you build a new support network for farming?
Not everyone understands how important farming is and why you do it. You should expect to do some outreach, to explain what you plan to do and how it will affect others. This necessary especially when you plan on having a livestock farm in a residential area
Be the first to extend the hand of friendship to your neighbors and others in your community. Good relations with your community are vital to a successful farming or ranching enterprise.
There are also people who can examine your farm business plans and help you make the best decisions for your situation. FARSENSE is here to help you find people with answers and resources to help build your farm business. But remember, it’s up to you to make good decisions based on sound advice.
To further explore starting a farm, learn about your First Steps.