START UP: YOUR OBJECTIVES
Why do you want to farm?
Why do you want to farm? Once you know that, you can determine what you want to produce and how you want to farm.
People want to be farmers for many reasons, including:
a way of earning a living;
cultural ties to the land and/or the farming way of life;
a desire to increase household food security and self-reliance;
a way to supplement income from another job; and
a combination of any of these reasons or other reasons.
Most people have more than one reason for wanting to farm. For example, those who want to earn their main income from their farm will develop a different scale of enterprise than those who only want to supplement their income.
Beginning farmers with small children will have different goals than retirees. Talk with someone who has agricultural or business expertise about what you expect from farming or read some of the resources listed in this Road Map before taking the next step. Our agriculture business growth officers, development officers and commodity specialists can assist you define your goals.
Are you really sure that farming is for you?
If you do not have farming experience, you should give serious consideration to spending at least a year working on different types of farms before investing your time, energy and capital in a farm enterprise. This will help you decide what kind of farming suits your goals and interests. You may also decide that farming is not for you. You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farming Enterprise by Joel Salatin gives an excellent overview of what you can expect from a farm lifestyle.