Can anyone become a farmer?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by mtowncyclone13, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. mtowncyclone13

    mtowncyclone13 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2012
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    This is a legitimate question and I'm hoping for honest feedback.

    Is it possible for someone not born into farming to become a crop (not animal) farmer and make a profit?

    Using myself a hypothetical example, assuming I want to be in business for myself and enjoy working hard when I directly benefit, is farming an option?

    What are the chances someone could get into this line of work with no experience or agriculture connections? Do you buy land, rent it, etc? If you're new, how do you structure loans for equipment, etc. It seems incredibly daunting.

    Are there programs to get young people into farming since everyone says farming has a demographic problem? Or is the learning curve just too great for someone without connections?
     
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  2. Acylum

    Acylum Well-Known Member
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    Nov 18, 2006
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    Gonna say no.
     
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  3. Gunnerclone

    Gunnerclone Well-Known Member

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    Good money in bailouts right now.
     
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  4. jsb

    jsb Well-Known Member

    Mar 7, 2008
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    You’d have to have money. I suppose when the farm economy is good you might get a bank to loan you money. But not now.

    but I’d avoid it ;). My 70 year old dad was up until 3:00am combining last night and will get up at 4 am for his regular job tomorrow. He puts his daughter to shame.
     
  5. WIB

    WIB Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2010
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    You need a lot of land to make it worth it. Which is going to cost millions.
     
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  6. buf87

    buf87 Well-Known Member

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    Takes a lot of money to buy equipment & inputs. Tough to find land to rent & expensive to buy land to create a career out of it unless you have a father or existing farmer that want to help a person get started
     
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  7. HARMCYN

    HARMCYN Active Member

    Jan 20, 2012
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    Simple answer. No.
     
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  8. Al_4_State

    Al_4_State Well-Known Member

    Mar 27, 2006
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    Not unless you were already absurdly wealthy.
     
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  9. ISUCY23

    ISUCY23 Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2008
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    No, unless you have a lot of money. Finding ground to farm is extremely difficult and on top of that, your input cost and machinery cost are very high.

    You basically need someone to start you out or come from a farming family. Even then it’s tough.

    And as a young farmer, it’s a lot of work for not a lot of money and a lot of risk.
     
  10. cowboycurtis

    cowboycurtis Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2006
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    Damn near impossible. Two ways to do it in your situation. First would be to know someone who would rent some ground and then you would start small with old equipment and still keep a full time job. Maybe, with a lot of luck, you would eventually farm full time but would take a couple decades to get there.

    Second would be to find an older farmer, with no kids that want to farm, and work for him. Hopefully learning a lot along the way. Eventually taking over the operation. Even then, you would probably be $500,000-$1,000,000 in debt from buying him out, and that’s if he’s a smaller operation.

    I farm, have a seed dealership, and a trucking operation. I’m pretty sure my farm would have been broke a couple times without the other two jobs chipping in some cash when needed. Now that I think about it, farming is kinda dumb. A lot of work that drains your account. Never seem to get comfortable enough to only farm.
     
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  11. istater7

    istater7 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2010
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    You would need a good chunk of money and some sort of connection to the industry. If you really wanted to start farming, the ideal situation would be to work alongside an aging farmer that could help show you the ropes, help you out by sharing equipment with you, and possibly set you up to rent land they are currently lending. It is going to be pretty tough to convince someone to rent land to you or participate in a crop share lease with you coming in green without any experience. There are beginning farmer programs, but you would need some sort of connection to help set you up for success. If you really wanted to do it, starting with some livestock would be the way to go.
     
  12. CascadeClone

    CascadeClone Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2009
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    I'm not a farmer, but do own part of a small business. So I can maybe comment on it from that perspective.

    To be successful at a business (any business) you have to have 2 things:
    1. domain knowledge - you have to know how it works, what to do and not do, good network of customers and vendors, etc
    2. business sense - financial know-how, access to capital, good judgement, etc

    Most small business people have a lot of 1, and a little of 2. And they do OK.

    Going the other way, you better have lots of capital to burn while acquiring all that domain knowledge.


    If you really wanted to get into farming as a business, I'd say your best bet would be to find someone with lots of #1, and bring your cash, business acumen, and even more cash -- and partner up. Then over time learn the business from them, and take it over.

    I would probably say the same if you wanted to open a pet store or a sandwich shop with zero experience. Go work at one for a few years to figure it out. Then open your own.
     
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  13. I-Statefanin IACity78

    Sep 10, 2019
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    I grew up on a 800 acre 300+ cattle farm.

    I went too junior college for Agriculture and passed it by the skin of my teeth. Much much harder then i anticipated. Alot of hard stuff.
     
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  14. ISUCyclones2015

    ISUCyclones2015 Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2010
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    My uncle did this at age 45 not too long ago (2006). Though he grew up on a farm and probably knew a little more than average person. Bought the farm from a fellow that said he'd needed x amount a year until he died. That was the price of the farm. "Luckily" (That sounds so bad to say but not sure how else to convey it) the guy died 6 years later in 2012. Uncle got all the equipment along with the house and the land in the will.

    Doubt that's a popular option to acquire land. My uncle had known him for a couple decades and he even helped teach him.

    Even with all that "sweet deal" stuff, he hasn't made a profit in any of the 7 years after the guy died. Break even at best he says. That tells me you do it for the love of farming and not to make money.
     
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  15. everyyard

    everyyard Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2006
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    Find a farm family with all daughters and marry in. That is best chance.
     
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  16. Rabbuk

    Rabbuk Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2011
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    his wife might not love this option
     
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  17. ISUCyclones2015

    ISUCyclones2015 Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2010
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    What if the farm was in Utah and he converted to being a Mormon?
     
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  18. everyyard

    everyyard Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2006
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    how bad does he want to farm? He might have to ditch her and hit the local farm girl dating scene.
     
  19. cychhosis

    cychhosis Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2006
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    Watch all episodes of Green Acres.
     
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  20. LincolnWay187

    LincolnWay187 Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2012
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    This thread is sad.
     
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