Can anyone become a farmer?

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

  1. madguy30

    madguy30 Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2011
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    I think this goes for a lot of job/career situations. Learn what works, but also experience the good with the bad.

    I have a buddy who worked in the service industry for many years but opened up a food shop and almost a decade later it feels like they're still trying to figure things out and he can hardly ever leave the place.
     
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  2. wxman1

    wxman1 Well-Known Member

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    My first thought is how handy are you? Cost of getting into it is one thing but my family that farms basically fixes pretty much everything on their own. I guess my point is there is much more to it than cost and "field" knowledge.
     
  3. cowgirl836

    cowgirl836 Well-Known Member

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    From an animal ag perspective.......theoretically it's possible but it's going to be hard. As others have said, finding a facility where you can work as a herdsman or just provide labor and work your way up is the best bet. That or marrying in. If you're independently wealthy and can buy the land/capital that you need, then sure. But there's probably better ways to light your money on fire right now.
     
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  4. Sparkplug

    Sparkplug Well-Known Member
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  5. farminclone

    farminclone Well-Known Member

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    A bigger issue than even the financial side of it is having a connection to get your foot in the door to rent or buy land. Our operation has been lucky enough to add some ground recently, and we were able to do that because the current landowner's dad and my grandfather were good friends and good neighbors for many years. As an "outsider" in a farm community this would be the type of long-term relationships you would be up against, which would make it nearly impossible IMO, unless you were willing to pay outlandish rents to get access to ground, which isn't a good long-term business model.
     
  6. Clone83

    Clone83 Well-Known Member

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    Here is an article (and video) about a popular farm to market near Omaha that recently closed up shop, as hard to make it work:
    https://www.omaha.com/omahadines/news/one-of-city-s-most-popular-organic-farms-to-bid/article_3c67b7d8-cf37-5189-8c8e-5e428bcf7a93.html

    Links to 3 other non-traditional farms north of Council Bluffs:

    Aronia Berries
    https://www.sawmillhollow.com/

    Lavender
    http://www.loesshillslavender.com/

    Pictures of a buck and bobcat there:

    upload_2019-10-21_8-19-55.jpeg

    upload_2019-10-21_8-20-17.jpeg

    Goats
    https://honeycreekcreamery.com/

    Article on goat yoga, among a few articles there at that site (the big guy up front plays linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals, but I don’t recall his name):
    https://www.nonpareilonline.com/lifestyles/the-experience-of-goat-yoga/article_998ce007-a76b-5bb6-a686-b1436757fa9e.html
     

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  7. 4theCYcle

    4theCYcle Well-Known Member

    Jul 14, 2013
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    The odds/cards are stacked against you. Even people who are close to agriculture and have some experience, it is difficult to get started without some sort of reasonable shoe in. Not to say it doesn't happen, but with equipment costs, rent costs, land prices, etc. it all adds up so quickly that not anyone can just get into it. I know there are larger companies that tailor to try and help young farmers get started, like Farm Credit, but any details beyond that you'd have to check out those programs.

    I'm sure it's been stated already, but the use of inputs, gaining the knowledge on marketing, and the learning curve on equipment use would be best learned through shadowing an aging farmer or someone who has enough capital that they wouldn't mind working with you to get you started. But right now, struggling times would make that quite difficult to find a perfect situation.

    I know a few people who are on the younger side who started working for farmers on the side, along with a main job that eventually started cash renting some ground and borrowed their equipment until they started building up enough to buy a piece of land of their own. Slowly, but surely, they farm a few hundred acres and have a job tied to the industry. But again, that's a long road ahead.

    Your other option is starting a business if you're seeking to be your own boss. You just have to find what you're passionate about and are good at.
     
  8. Tre4ISU

    Tre4ISU Well-Known Member

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    Let's not get carried away here. This was about getting into it.
     
  9. dosry5

    dosry5 Well-Known Member

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    Check with TOE football program, they have those stickers on their helmets, they should be able to help you....
     
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  10. 4theCYcle

    4theCYcle Well-Known Member

    Jul 14, 2013
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    Yeah, anymore it seems like farmers are diverse with land and animals to keep things afloat. Since most are cyclical in the down years for grain, the animal side can help sustain it. Dairy is the one industry I don't understand. The brutal labor it takes to require to make a dollar and farmers beating their body up, one wonders how they still stay in it.
     
  11. Tre4ISU

    Tre4ISU Well-Known Member

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    Farmer's aren't nearly as diverse as they were 25-30 years ago. Everyone had pigs then and half of them had cattle. The confinement industry mostly ruined the the pig side of that and cattle may be going the same way, though a lot slower.
     
  12. HappyJoe

    HappyJoe Active Member

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    My advice is to look into the recreational farm market (hunting primarily) at least for your first farm investment. Start small and build. Make sure you have diversity and an ability to improve the farm. With that, buy an initial farm that you can afford. Improve it and then sell. Buy the next farm with a little more tillable acreage. Improve and sell again.. If you get lucky and can find the right initial farm at the right price, you may have a chance. The rec farm market continues to grow and there are crazy non resident wealthy buyers that can and do shell out lots of money for big deer. Make sure your farms have some income associated with it to help pay the mortgage until you are ready to start farming yourself. We started with less than 100 acres 8 years ago and have almost doubled it in our third farm. Price per acre has doubled as well in 8 years. We aren’t farming our tillable nor do we have the current farm as our “job”. It is fun to own and enjoy land though. Starting small and getting lucky are key.
     
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  13. Cyientist

    Cyientist Well-Known Member

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    Truthfully, with current land ownership demographics, it should be lots of land, no kids that want to actively farm, and a granddaughter/grandson that is single.

    Even then you would still need a niche to pay the bills. Be a custom applicator, strip-tiller, cover cropper, or run a drainage business. Farmers rely on coops for quite a few custom services now, but I think there is room in that area since windows seem to be getting tighter to get fall and spring field work done. Coops are either maxed out as it is, or have difficulty keeping up with demand for services.

    I don't believe the OP intended to be insulting, but in today's agriculture you absolutely could not come in with no experience/education. I hate how even agri-business/commodity groups market farming. It seems like they always simplify it and make it look like the way things were farmed in the 70's, not the modern technology driven industry that it is.
     
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  14. 4theCYcle

    4theCYcle Well-Known Member

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    By diverse I mean, hey they own land and also have cattle. I'm not talking about the back 40 with pigs, chickens, cattle and goats.

    I'm going to avoid the rabbit hole you will create with the confinement comment, since I disagree. There are plenty of reasons it had to go that route.
     
  15. Tre4ISU

    Tre4ISU Well-Known Member

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    Neither am I. Farmer's aren't as diverse now. There are far, far more row crop only guys out there and you're hardly diversified in terms of farming if you simply put up a building and take no ownership of the lives inside. You're a hired man who took on the largest cost of the operation.
     
  16. Blandboy

    Blandboy Well-Known Member

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    The dairy farmers I’ve known are in it because they really enjoy working with the cows. It’s crazy hard work with insane hours.
     
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  17. HFCS

    HFCS Well-Known Member

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    Saw an ANF sticker (in a yellow Iowa shape to not be mistaken) on a Mercedes in mid city LA yesterday.

    Kind of reminded me of "out on the road today I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac".
     
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  18. LincolnWay187

    LincolnWay187 Well-Known Member

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    Serious question. If Iowa legalizes weed would farmers start growing it like mad in iowa. I dont know much about how its its grown but seems like it could be lucrative
     
  19. LincolnWay187

    LincolnWay187 Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2012
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    See my question below. Will this actually happrn?
     
  20. ImJustKCClone

    ImJustKCClone Well-Known Member
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    Short answer. Yes, anyone can become a farmer.

    Now ask if anyone can become a SUCCESSFUL farmer.

    It's far more than just sticking some seeds in the ground and waiting...
     
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