Can anyone become a farmer?

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

  1. RedDog

    RedDog Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2014
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    I started with 5 acres and an Alpaca. Chase your dream.
     
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  2. Urbandale2013

    Urbandale2013 Active Member

    Jan 28, 2018
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    It will be a 40 acre max for hemp.
     
  3. AuH2O

    AuH2O Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2013
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    Yeah I'm pretty down on it. My Dad and his siblings have been in semi retirement farming only what they own, which is a total of only 480 acres between three of them. So clearly economies of scale aren't there, but they stick to equipment appropriate for the scale. Made some good money in better markets, and can make it work now, but my Dad can live on his SS alone, so it's not critical. When I look at the prospects of it once I inherit some land, I'd be at 80 acres owned, 80 acres with a good rent rate from my sibling. While a good start, not enough to pay for fixed costs and expanding through rent or borrowing to purchase just doesn't pencil out.
     
  4. NWICY

    NWICY Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2012
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    Looks like they could make some money leasing out hunting rights. That's a darn nice buck.
     
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  5. Clone83

    Clone83 Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2006
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    OP, as he has here before, might consider a move to Des Moines.

    Just speculating, but from what he has posted here about his vocation, it seems he might be able to find well compensated work there. The farm land south of Des Moines is also more diverse and recreational and affordable.

    The Des Moines lobe of the Wisconsin glacier stopped in Des Moines. The landscape south of there is about 500,000 years older if I recall correctly.
     
  6. mtowncyclone13

    mtowncyclone13 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2012
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    How do people remember stuff other posters said a year ago? I can't remember what I posted last week and people in CF are always talking about what users said a long time ago. Either I have the world's worst memory or other people actually look at user names of posts. IDK...

    Honestly, to the people saying they only have 80 acres, or 400 acres, or whatever... Maybe I don't understand it, because I see the possible liquidity in all of that and the ability to sell most of it and still live in a relatively rural area while having millions of dollars, if that's what they want.

    People say selling the farm would be a failure, but isn't the point to make money? Or is the point to live on an acerage? Or what?
     
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  7. Clone83

    Clone83 Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2006
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    I think I got those pictures of the buck and the bobcat from their Facebook page, where IIRC, they might have speculated whether they were attracted to lavender. Deer and bobcats though are all over the place.
     
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  8. khardbored

    khardbored Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2012
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    My wife's grandpa (now deceased) was a livestock farmer. Gave up farming in his late 70's. One son died early in life. The only other son (my father-in-law) lived far away and didn't want to change careers to go into farming. None of the grandkids wanted to go into farming.

    A hired hand that worked there for many years (and was very involved in the business) stepped up and wanted to buy it. Even so, he had to convince a bank to give him a $3 million + loan. And this was before the 2008 crash, so prob. easier back then. And, this was livestock with a pretty solid established cash flow and multiple contracts already in place. Basically, just keep doing what you're doing and don't screw it up.

    So, I guess it's possible, but would imagine grain would be even tougher.
     
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  9. NWICY

    NWICY Well-Known Member

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    I think it's fairly safe to say that farming isn't the best ROI but you do you. When you posted I thought you were stirring the pot and this post pretty much confirms it. So did you ever make the move? @Clone83 actually gave you a good suggestion if you've moved into the DM metro area.
     
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  10. Clone83

    Clone83 Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2006
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    You don’t remember that? As I recall you were scouting out possible places to live, with diverse responses, from capitalcityguy’s to others.
     
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  11. Remo Gaggi

    Remo Gaggi Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2018
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    You really should be posting this question on one of the hok message boards. I mean, come on, they have a sticker on their helmets, they certainly can offer you the best advice.
     
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  12. mtowncyclone13

    mtowncyclone13 Well-Known Member

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    I remember posting it, but if a different poster said that a year ago I would not remember who said it.
     
  13. mtowncyclone13

    mtowncyclone13 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2012
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    I'm not stirring the pot at all. I think working for yourself is Noble, it's something I'd like to do, I like economics and business, and I think there is physical beauty in farms. Looking out over rolling hills is beautiful to me. Running your own business while living in that type of setting and making a profit seems like an incredible life.

    But if you can't make money and have no practical knowledge of farming it sounds almost impossible.
     
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  14. Urbandale2013

    Urbandale2013 Active Member

    Jan 28, 2018
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    Agree Agriculture I think is at a weird crossroads. I think over the next 50 years we will see dramatic changes. Frankly there’s little free market about it and it has lead to practically insurmountable starting costs. I think the reality is a lot of the government aspect will change. You will see more diverse crops and a healthier economy.

    At least I hope that’s what happens. The ag industry is essential to everyone’s way of life but it isn’t sustainable right now.
     
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  15. Clone83

    Clone83 Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2006
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    Thanks. I don’t believe I have a photographic memory, but a good one.

    And it is visual images that I recall especially, including from when I was an infant, that my parents were astonished years later I had any memory of.

    I remember posts by you and capitalcityguy, that I participated in some, early on at least. I don’t believe I participated in that one of yours on DM. But it was a subject of interest to me. I read only a small percentage of posts this site. I also find too much posting here generally not a good use of time. I have some experience and knowledge on site selection, so your vocational angle on it was of interest to me.
     
  16. Tre4ISU

    Tre4ISU Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, you'd really have to enjoy it for that to be worth it.
     
  17. AuH2O

    AuH2O Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2013
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    To me the ROI can swing positive and be OK if markets change in the right direction, but renting it out or selling out at that point also swings higher and beats it by a mile every time. So basically it comes down to is it something that I am willing to pay (in relative terms) to spend my time vs. retirement. I liked the livestock business, but my family got out of that business when I was fairly young and I never had a passion for crops.

    Besides, there are other things I can do to scratch that itch either as a hobby, side job in retirement, etc. with very little risk or investment. Hats off to the ones making a go at it. It's tough and full of risk.
     
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  18. ArgentCy

    ArgentCy Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2010
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    Definitely. People have a very strange attraction to land. Often causing emotional decisions rather than rational thought.
     
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  19. NodawayRiverClone

    May 1, 2018
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    If not previously said here: Start by finding a group of professionals (doctors, lawyers, accountants, execs) who have or want to get into farming. The group rents parcels of land or buys some. They hire the work done and take the profit or loss. See if the people hired to plant and harvest will let you hang around and help. If you like it and your group makes money, start buying/renting your own land. Rent or lease equipment to do the work. Not exactly he image of family farming, but there is a lot of this going on.
     
  20. isukendall

    isukendall Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2006
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    The reality is that farmers do not necessarily own their land, in a lot of cases. My father passed away last year, after farming for 45 years following the death of this father. When his mother passed away, the land was split between 6 siblings, and as others have eluded to, the others (mostly) wanted to get cashed in, and my father couldn't buy them out himself. So essentially the farm was dissolved and sold. It was a number of years before my father owned any land of his own, but even in the end wasn't a lot (~180 acres, half pasture, half farmland). The rest of the land he farmed was owned by his elderly family members (e.g. aunts) who rented to him. Yes, he had a lot of equipment that had value, but after doing it for such a long time, it's hard to imagine doing something else. Plus, even if you did own it, if you sold it you'd be giving up and selling off your family legacy, which some may view (appropriately or not) as a momentous failure.
     

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