Small Farm Nation
Small Farm Nation
Tim Young:
Is your farm a money-sucking hobby or a profitable business?
14 minutes Posted Jun 8, 2019 at 7:00 pm.
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The phrase hobby farm is cute and all, but what’s the difference between a hobby farm and a farming business? In this episode, I’m going to tell you why you might have a farm hobby that costs you money rather than a thriving farm business that earns you money.

So, this topic of understanding the difference between farm hobbies and farm businesses is very important. It’s an issue I’ve see often with small farmers, as they seem to operate partly as a farm business and partly…or mainly, I should say,…as a hobby farm.

And I understand why this happens when people opt out of other careers for farm life. 

What draws them is the idea of working on the land.

Of having animals…livestock. Of tending sheep or chickens, collecting eggs, planting seeds, harvesting crops.

Of growing food under blue skies to the soothing sounds of birds and bees rather than grating sounds of traffic and ambulances.

And those are all great reasons to embrace farm life.

But, notice I didn’t mention anything about finances?

About customers?

Because folks are rarely lured into this lifestyle by thoughts of, “I’ve got an idea of how to make a boatload of money farming.”

So, it’s generally not the business plans or finances that lures them to these businesses.

And that’s a shame, because, as you yourself may already know, these ARE businesses.

And they’re not immune to the laws of business.

Namely, they need customers and a sales price that far exceeds the production cost.

And, that’s how they would approach any other business, right?

I mean, if someone was stuck in a soul-sucking cubicle job and wanted out, and if they stumbled across an opportunity to start a dry-cleaning operation, wouldn’t they assess it as a business?

They wouldn’t daydream about folding clothes and cleaning suits.

No, they’d assess the business model, get confident with their profit projections and marketing strategy before pulling the trigger on the business.

But this is where farming is different than most businesses.

Not all, because, I know just as many people who have started restaurants, because the love to cook, as those who started farming, because they love to garden.

But just because you can cook doesn’t remotely mean you can run a profitable restaurant.

And ditto for farming.

Listen in as I help you get on track with your farming BUSINESS!