There is a growing desire among younger generations to find a way to be more sustainable. More than that, many people hope to find ways to provide for themselves and their families. Because of these desires, it is becoming increasingly common for people to start their own farms – regardless of the size.
Starting a farm can be both intimidating and rewarding in equal measure. A lot of research goes into starting a new farm, not to mention countless decisions that need to be made. This article will provide a brief guide to getting started with a new farm.
Reasons and Goals
The first step in creating a farm is understanding your reason for doing so. This will help create goals and a broad plan for one to work with. Are you hoping to start a business with this farm? Or will the farm be providing food for your family and little else? In other words, is this a business or a hobby farm? The scale between these two is significant, so it is essential to make this decision early on.
Next, it is time to consider what sort of farm you want to run. This will help decide what kind of land you’ll need access to, including the size and environment. For example, the needs of a fruit (orchard) farm are vastly different from the needs of a dairy farm.
Research Is Your Friend
Now that one has a better understanding of the goals and requirements of their new farm, it is time to do some research. In this instance, research should include everything from essential sourcing supplies to competition and the market itself. While researching, don’t forget to look up advice from experts within each farming specialty. This process will likely not go quickly like a new farmer needs to learn before breaking ground.
Understand Local Laws
The final part of the researching phase includes looking up and understanding the local laws regarding farming. This is more important for a business farm than a hobby farm. However, living outside of a right-to-farm area is possible and thus comes into roadblocks for hobby farms.
Find a Community
It can be helpful for beginner farmers to reach out to the larger community for guidance and help. Overall, the farming community is very welcoming and kind – especially to those looking to become part of the community.
Having a mentor can help stop a new farmer from making the same mistake as hundreds of farmers that came before. It is beneficial to have a guide that provides tips and tricks within the trade.
Set a Budget
Unsurprisingly, the budget difference between a hobby farm and a business farm is quite significant. Setting a budget is a critical part of this process, as it will keep one from spending beyond their means. The budget scale will already have been decided based on decisions made during step one. From there, it is all a matter of finding one’s comfortable financial situation.
Create a Plan
Now it is time to sit down and create a proper plan for this new farm. The planning phase should include everything from location and property to management and supplies. There is no such thing as an overly detailed plan, so don’t be afraid to dive in headfirst.