Farming as a Business

srv524(z6)June 29, 2008


I've done a search on here to try and find this topic or something like it, and nothing came if I missed something, I apologize if I'm asking a previous question.

I'm 24, hate my job, and looking to transition into become a farmer. Obviously, I'd like to start out small, so I'm working on building money for machinery and and putting money into long-term savings just in case. I'm looking for something that I can still work full time, but is a) easy to start in that I can start small and build up and b) something that I can keep building and building.

Profitability would be nice, but I realize that I won't be a millionaire as a farmer and I'm ok with that. Right now, we look at it as something that would supplement our income a little bit, and if it turns into something full time or something that we'd love (I know I would), then we'd go with it full time.

My problem is that I have worked on a christmas tree farm, riding tractors, taking care of "crops", but where I live, in Western NY, there are limited farms of corn, hay, wheat, etc etc. The ideal situation would be to work on a farm for a few yrs, get experience, then go out on my own, but it looks like that would be hard to do since there's nothing around here. Also, we're considering a move down south for her job, so what are some ideal locations that would be beneficial if we were to try the farm experiment?

Sorry for the lengthy post, and thanks for your responses. I'm just a guy who loves to role up his sleeves, throw on a pair of jeans, get dirty and loves it.

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There are many farms in western New york, dont know how they could be missed!! Of course not in the numbers of say 20 years ago. They are quite large now in many cases.

If I may suggest some enterprises I feel are workable; small fruits and vegetables seems to have a bright future and can be managed as a 2nd job so the other job can provide a steady income and possibly insurance?? try to stay away from heavy investment in equipment which is costly to buy and maintain, altho it is depreciable.

Talk to your county agent who can be helpful with ideas and planning. What ever you do, make researching your ideas the most important phase, trust me, I have made all the mistakes.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 1:01PM
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pegs099(z5 NY)

Might I suggest finding someone who needs help part-time? That way you learn your way around. What I see in western NY is a lot of used-to-be farms that are becoming overgrown. Hay is pretty expensive now, so maybe you could find some property owners who would let you hay, which you can do under or using another farmers equiptment. Everyone would benefit, and if you meet people who need hay, you meet people who have animals.

Another thing to do would be to intensively, carefully grow some summer crops, like greens, etc., and bring them to farms markets on weekends. You don't need specialized equiptment or a lot of time to do this. Good luck and let us know how things turn out for you.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 2:22PM
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lucy925(z5 NY)

Hi, Hay might be worth something unless you can't get it in, as this is the problem this year with all the rain -last year was great. Anyway 524, we are getting ready to retire. If you would like to come out and see the farm and our haying business- send an e-mail and I can tell you more.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 3:54PM
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I've been looking at some PT jobs, but it's hard to find them around here and I can't seem to find any. I see a couple mom and pop farms or farms that are only family-run and are barely making it by as it is. I was looking for a bigger farm where I could learn how to do anything and everything. I know people in the business and have asked them if they know of anyone who could help me or is hiring, but nothing.
My main thing is I just want something that I can start off small and grow huge (wouldn't that be nice). Some crops take a lot of money to start off, and have a lot of machinery involved, so I want something I can start off small and just let it develop over 10, 20, 30+ yrs or so; I know it won't happen in a matter of months. Also, I'd like to stick with hay, wheat, veggies and stay away from animals.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 3:58PM
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By the way, is there a link where I can view the zones that are posted, 5, z5, etc? I tried clicking the link on here and it was a dead end.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 4:04PM
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lucy925(z5 NY)

I'm having trouble e-mailing you. I think we have what you are looking for.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 5:15PM
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Email me on my gmail account.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 6:32PM
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