Can anyone become a farmer?

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

  1. ArgentCy

    ArgentCy Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2010
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    And a mountain of debt. Big whoop. As they say "All Hat and No Cattle".
     
  2. Hoggins

    Hoggins Member

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    If subsidies bother you, don’t take them.
     
  3. ArgentCy

    ArgentCy Well-Known Member

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  4. DJSteve

    DJSteve Member

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    How do you become a millionaire farmer? Start out a multi-millionaire...

    In all seriousness, though, starting out row-crop corn/sobyean farming from scratch is a pretty tough path--primarily due to the capital requirements for equipment/inputs as well as limited access to land. The nature of the business of growing commodities is that the low-cost producer wins, which can have as much to do with controlling your costs as growing the highest yields. Most of the successful smaller farmers I do not run the new equipment, and generally do as much as they can themselves rather than hiring things done (i.e. shopping around for inputs, spraying your own instead of having the coop spray name-brand herbicide, turning wrenches keeping equipment maintained, hauling own grain instead of hiring trucking, etc). Like any business there are different models that can make money, but for a smaller commodity operation you need to try to get as many dollars from what you have into your pocket and not someone else's... and even then may be difficult to generate an income that justifies the work required and amount of money you're putting at risk.

    If starting an ag operation from scratch, I would definitely look to do something in the non-commodity space. I think there is opportunity to grow things and sell direct to end-user, which may be more labor-intensive but can make much more on a per-acre basis and give you much better control of the prices you're selling what you grow (vs being completely at the mercy of commodity markets).

    ISU extension (and other ag-state extensions) have resources with budgets for different farm enterprises, equipment rental/custom rates, etc and also the Beginning Farmer Center. I believe Practical Farmers of Iowa also has some good information and networking opportunities with other people doing niche agriculture of all types.

    There are some programs for beginning farmers; Iowa has a state income tax credit available for landlords who rent to beginning farmers (though qualification is mainly based on farmer net worth, which really makes it more of a "poor farmer tax credit"). There are some administrative fees waived on crop insurance, I think for your first 5 years. And some special programs for borrowing to make land purchases, though as some earlier eluded to I think they have quite a few hoops and may not be available to someone starting from scratch (one I looked at I think you had to have farmed for 3 years to qualify?).
     
  5. buf87

    buf87 Well-Known Member

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    Doesn’t work that easy. Those subsidies are use by every other farmer, seed, fertilizer, & chemical salesman as part of the income a farmer gets.

    I have taken subsidies that I don’t agree with, but neighboring farmers and farm input sales are using those subsidies to set land rents, seed costs, etc. So to compete, I have to take them.
     
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  6. DJSteve

    DJSteve Member

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    That's not a sweeping generalization at all...

    For both for farmers and teachers, I think a lot of the well-off older ones became so because of the lifestyle choices and sacrifices they made over the preceding decades. There's a book titled "The Millionaire Next Door" that delves into that topic... it's based on research so is a bit dry, but also somewhat enlightening on how to accumulate wealth.
     
  7. runbikeswim

    runbikeswim Well-Known Member

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    another common problem I have seen with "heirs," and it happened in my related family, is that the farm and associated assets are so valuable, that even if there is one or two kids that want to take it over, the rest of the kids want bought out, those farming heirs don't have the millions to buy them out, and the family farm ends up separated into parcels for an auction. Nothing sadder than watching family heirlooms, land, house, etc. being auctioned off because the children couldn't work it out to maintain a legacy.
     
  8. Tre4ISU

    Tre4ISU Well-Known Member

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    That happens all the time. I'd say that happens more than the family getting along.
     
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  9. Tre4ISU

    Tre4ISU Well-Known Member

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    I don't disagree with you but that's another point where it's necessarily a matter of not making enough; it's a matter of spending too much.
     
  10. Cyched

    Cyched Well-Known Member

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    One of the few instances where whole life can actually make sense
     
  11. Clone83

    Clone83 Well-Known Member

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    #91 Clone83, Oct 21, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
    I agree.

    If you don't take the subsidies, it is more likely the land ends up in the hands of those who do (or their heirs).

    Similarly, if you raise a non-subsidized commodity or raise one less subsidized than other alternatives, it is more likely that the land ends up in the hands of those who do.

    They affect land use.
     
  12. Macloney

    Macloney Well-Known Member

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    Farming successfully really depends on the proximity you would have to a gas station with a booth in it. This isn't enough though, it has to be vacant at ungodly early hours for you and your buds.

    If you don't have this and at least two pairs of Key bibs, you will never make it.
     
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  13. ISUTex

    ISUTex Well-Known Member

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    The only teachers I know that drive nice/new cars and live in nice homes have a spouse with a high paying job. Otherwise they're in a lot of debt if they have that stuff.
     
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  14. mtowncyclone13

    mtowncyclone13 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2012
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    I know this woman without a job who drives a brand new Tesla. Unemployed! Can you believe how these mooches live?




    Oh, right. Her husband is an anethesiologiat.
     
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  15. Hoggins

    Hoggins Member

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    that’s to bad. Maybe don’t be a welfare queen
     
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  16. kingcy

    kingcy Well-Known Member

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    Maybe for a year or two. The problem is Iowa is only going allow a select few to raise it. If they do open it up to everyone the profit will be gone quick.
     
  17. isukendall

    isukendall Well-Known Member

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    Relevant here, farmer suicides are on the rise because of how difficult it is to make it. I know this first-hand, unfortunately. If people who have been doing it their whole lives have so much trouble that leaving their entire life, friends, and family behind seems like a viable option, then it isn't a career that I would recommend for someone who knows nothing about it.
     
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  18. rockbottom

    rockbottom New Member

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    Have been involved with agriculture since graduating in 77 from ISU-have made many sacrifices over the years-been great for me! What kind of a return on your dollar do you expect? Feeding cattle we were getting a 3-4 percent return-what corporation works with this? Very high dollar investments! We have lived on our assets gaining in value! Would I change my selection in jobs or live styles-maybe. Look at it this way-have never gone and applied for a job!!! Most farmers live on the cheap side and die wealthy-pick your choices!

    By the way first time posting on here!!
     
  19. mtowncyclone13

    mtowncyclone13 Well-Known Member

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    Honest question, if land is still close to a record high why not sell everything and try something else? When I drive down the highways all I see are miles and miles and miles of $10k/acre land, wondering if the owners could get a better return elsewhere
     
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  20. farminclone

    farminclone Well-Known Member

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    Personal connection to the land. Selling land and investing in higher returning assets would feel like a failure for essentially all farmers.
     
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