Author Topic: Any farmers out there?  (Read 1243 times)

hoping2retire35

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Any farmers out there?
« on: August 09, 2019, 06:38:58 AM »
We have a few acres and our neighbor is elderly and can hardly cut his 25+ acres. I was always under the impression that farming was a losing cause growing up. I tried growing a big garden;bugs and weeds usually take over. I tried chickens; predators eat them, sad face. Finally got a few sheep as I thought they and their guardian would keep away the predators. I have sense decided it could make a decent side gig and maybe even a 'semi' retirement option from the sheep; time will tell.
We have around 20 chickens(chicks are hatching so not sure exactly), 15 sheep and a donkey.

Anyone else trying this? full time or side hustle? Bought or inherited land? Live near cheap farm land; or close access to markets?

Kendall

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Re: Any farmers out there?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2019, 11:44:50 AM »
I have a high school friend who, after a long period of finding himself decided to get a nursing degree. He also has a side hustle of raising sheep, pigs as meat sold at a farmer's market.

We both grew up in the country, went to 4-H. I chose to leave and become an electrical engineer but I have many friends that are still in farming. The reality of the economics of farming can hit hard at the heart of the small-time hobby farmer.

Farming is literally a tough row to hoe, but also most farmers and ranchers would not leave the lifestyle for anything. Now, I sometimes chalk up that attitude to a lack of imagination. Nobody becomes rich from farming. A farmer might become rich after selling the paid for land to a housing developer. I have met people that have tried to make a business of their farming passion, like beekeeping or raising chickens and get tired of the work after a few years. Worse is the people who sink their savings into farming as a lifestyle and discover that they spent the last 20 years breaking even and have no retirement!

sfpf

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Re: Any farmers out there?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 06:56:23 PM »
Good for you @hoping2retire35! What a fascinating and fun adventure that sounds like. One of my parents' friends lives in Alabama and has a sheep farm as a side hustle. He's done well with it, but I've heard it's a lot of work.

My retired uncle has his own vegetable garden that he loves and is always raving about how fresh and tasty his home grown produce is. He has a challenge with pest control and keeping the deer and rabbits away though, but he's not too stressed over it since he's doing it as a hobby and not for income. Some of his neighbors have alpacas to help ward off other animals, but my uncle doesn't want that added maintenance or cost.

Keep us posted on your progress. Would love to hear how your journey goes!

hoping2retire35

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Re: Any farmers out there?
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2019, 11:58:31 AM »
@kendall, as I said earlier I really had no reason to become a (semi)professional farmer just from all the horror stories I had always heard; figured big businesses did it better etc.

I think there are people who have a lot of passion but not a lot of business sense, and vice versa. I think I have enough of both; I am 36 in good shape and dont mind doing hard physical labor, whenever I am not at my job(behind a desk). Most of the hard work, as in tons of sweat, loss of water weight and plenty of exhaustion only happens 1 or maybe 2x a year when a new fence or shed is needed; might take one 3 day weekend. The rest of it is just being there and being consistent.

I have only bought 7 sheep and people ask what I'll do with them, and I tell them I'll just keep growing my flock. :)

More to your point, I think one can become rich from farming though it takes a special person to do. check out Joel Salatin, I believe he had $1.8mil in sales a few years ago.