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Old 12-28-2014, 08:08 AM
 
1,417 posts, read 1,577,163 times
Reputation: 1458

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
Not really, myself and my ex wife bought a 445k home in martinez, in the SF bay area when we were both 20 years old making about 20$ an hour.
When was this when you were 20 years old? Also, what loan subsidy programs did you use? I am sure you used some. How much money did you put down? Where did this money come from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
Get cut, both will clean the wound and put in stitches. Get an infection both will give you antibiotics.
What is the difference? There is virtually every kind of assistance program you can ask for out there. Most people simply do not to look for it.
Get any more complicated problem that requires diagnostics other than "Say aaaaaah" and then what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
I am pretty sure this is the definition of a morality choice.
Sigh. I tried to explain but to no avail. It is not a morality choice. it is a choice YOU make to be poor and live a certain lifestyle knowing that someone else will foot the bill. You are putting others out of money because you want to live a certain lifestyle. Your choice has a REAL FINANCIAL impact on others around you. To you it may be a morality choice, to me it is a financial loss because now instead of supporting just me, I have to support you too...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
Personally I do not mind helping out a local farmer.
This discussion is about VIABLE small farms (or any farms). If I start a business that depends on the charity of others, how is it a VIABLE business? It is not. It is a business that has an external financial input (even if that input is not in the form of hard cash) - depends on the charity of others. When and if that charity ceases - your business is that much less viable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
We waste enough $$ on tons of other useless programs, at least this one has a purpose- reducing the reliability on a centralized food market. If you do not think that is important check out my link at the bottom of the page.
I agree reducing your dependence on the centralized corporate food market is a must. However, EVERYONE has to pull their own weight while doing this. YOU have to build a healthy business. By the way, my wife and I both have professional jobs in the city and yet we live outside in the country and grow our own food - so it is doable. We are not feeding others, we are feeding ourselves. So we are reducing the dependence AND we are financially viable. If we wanted to start feeding others by becoming farmers, we could do so without depending on substandard/free handout healthcare provided by others. But if someone asked me how my farm has become viable, I would be able to honestly tell them - after 15 years of working my a** off in an office and paying my dues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
But again, its a morality choice. Maybe that bothers you, but it doesn't seem to bother plenty of other people.
The same people who ride on the backs of others? The people who show up at the ER and cannot pay the bills so they end up bankrupt and someone else has to foot the bill via higher insurance premiums? And let me ask you this: what if we ALL decided to follow your example - we ALL decided to go to stop producing any extra cash/profits and just decided to be poor and go to free clinics? How long would these clinics be viable and able to provide care? Are you one of those people who think that money falls from the skies and funds things ad infinitum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
You said it is not available which is false, yet you back that statement because you disagree with it from a morality standpoint. Personality, I show people the options then let them make the choice for themselves, instead of telling them it doesn't exist. Or should we tell people abortions and birth control do not exist either, because it offends someones morality?
Really, what options have you shown? "Hey, wanna ride on the backs of your fellow neighbors while you live your chosen non-viable lifestyle"? It's out there, here is how you do it! Make absolutely no money to pay absolutely no taxes and they use tax-funded health clinics to get your family taken care of. In the process, make it more expensive for everyone else to live because you think your chosen lifestyle is so important!".

By the way, I have no problem with contraceptives and abortion - however, everyone wanting it needs to pay for it out of pocket or via their insurance plan. Until things change and we all have free healthcare - those are the rules.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
Actually almost every single story I linked talks about how they afforded it. Try reading some of them, very inspirational. In the last one I linked, they sold their current home, bought 40K worth of a home and a few acres and slowly acquired goats and equipment with the help of some friends. The dad worked the same job he always did, the mom did all the farm work and their quality of life did not change much as their new house payment was much much lower than their old house payment. This allowed the mom to not work in town and instead she focused on the farm. The farm is now the largest source of income for that family.
So basically it is what I have been saying all along: someone had money in the bank (sold an expensive home and bought a smaller one) and one of the spouses kept a job in town (and probably health insurance).

All this time I was right and we were arguing over nothing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
Using the power of "the Google" I have several websites to visit to help you secure a loan or grant at affordable rates.
My point exactly - how do you think these loans are funded? I don't need Google for that, I know. My premise is that farming today is a lifestyle choice, just like being a Doctor or Lawyer. You don't see loans out there subsidizing people becoming doctors or lawyers, do you? My wife's veterinary loan was $120K and 1/2 of it had a 6.25% interest rate (1/2 of it has a subsidized rate of 2.something %). You don't see us running to free clinics and asking for handouts.

There is more: ranchers out West are allowed to graze their cattle on BLM lands at a very subsidized rate (funded by tax payers). The cattle destroy a lot of the land, the cattle is a cause of habitat loss for wild horses (they compete for forage), the cattle pollutes and tramples the fragile river systems in the various lands. It is a lifestyle for quite a few families in places where cattle probably should not live.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
There are many smart ways to do it, but I have yet to see you talk about them. Instead I see lots of negativity in your posts. Some positive suggestions would be nice.
Didn't I suggest you get a piece of property you think you can farm, keep your job until it is paid off and you have some money in the bank and in the meantime start small, first your own garden and when you are ready - you expand? That's pretty much what you described in your little story above . It doesn't take a genius to understand and know that this is a good and HONEST way to do it, without relying on external input and living a subsistence lifestyle with barely a $100 to your name month to month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
People keep posting about 200+ acre farms that have tens of thousands of dollars in equipment or livestock. But over 51% of farms are under 49 acres (USDA). Most 49 acre sized farms are no where near 500K. In fact you can find hundreds for less than 100K. $89,300 is the average size of a 401k in the US(CNN). This is also half of the average US mortgage.
Hey, all the glory to you. Our property is 5.3 acres and was purchased as a foreclosure. It is near a city and has substandard soil for farming. It took us 3 years of layering manure upon manure layer to build some soil to support our own garden. It was bought and paid for for $70K, came with a well, septic, a decrepit double-wide and a lot of weeds. We have busted our backs over renovations, additions, cleanups and enrichments of the soil, building outbuildings, fencing etc. ALL ON OUR OWN DIME - NO SUBSIDIES AND CHARITIES.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
So again, I disagree that it will take a large amount of money to be successful. It will take brains, hard work and some know how.
No, "all we need is love"!

Seriously...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
But I have neither found nor has anyone linked me, any proof that a successful farm requires a large monetary investment.
I have rehabilitated a property to become a viable small farm. I know what it takes to do these things. I have put in fencing, built shelter and storage, chicken coops, installed solar, started beekeeping, grown and still grow a garden that feeds two people - all just me and my wife. I have taken a property from a toxic-weed covered dump worth $70K to a show-property with a nice producing garden and fully self-sufficient in 3 years, with no external inputs - only my wife's and my hard work (and some hired and paid for labor when necessary) all the while working full time professional gig.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? So far I see a lot of armchair expertise (Google links) and a lot of freeloader advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
Why? I have already posted the statistics that show failure rates. Why read sob stories?
Because, my friend, when majority of the examples are failures (based on statistics YOU posted), learning what they did wrong is at least, if not more, important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
Sure you can learn from other peoples failures, but it is just as appropriate to learn from successes and not so depressing to read. I am not teaching people how to farm or run a business, I am simply offering hope through examples and data.
How about you offer us your OWN story? How did YOU create a viable farm business all the while keeping a decent standard of living and not depending on the mercy of others?

Last edited by LordyLordy; 12-28-2014 at 08:18 AM..
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Martinez, ca
297 posts, read 287,237 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
When was this when you were 20 years old? Also, what loan subsidy programs did you use? I am sure you used some. How much money did you put down? Where did this money come from?
None and no where. I started working full time when I was 14 in a chop shop, so at 20 I was a certified welder 6g stick welder and working refinery shutdown averaging 80 hours a week. and 25 an hour.
My ex wife had been working at Safeway a grocery (union) store since she was 15. I belive she made 19 an hour then.
In 2001/2002/2003 our net take home averaged 90k. We were able to save on average about 30k a year. So when we purchased the house we were able to put down 90k. So our actual loan amount was 360k as 5k went to closing costs. Monthly payment of about $2200.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
Get any more complicated problem that requires diagnostics other than "Say aaaaaah" and then what?
Obviously you have never used a free clinic.



Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
Sigh. I tried to explain but to no avail. It is not a morality choice. it is a choice YOU make to be poor and live a certain lifestyle knowing that someone else will foot the bill. You are putting others out of money because you want to live a certain lifestyle. Your choice has a REAL FINANCIAL impact on others around you. To you it may be a morality choice, to me it is a financial loss because now instead of supporting just me, I have to support you too...
mo·ral·i·ty
a particular system of values and principles of conduct, especially one held by a specified person or society.
plural noun: moralities
"a bourgeois morality"
the extent to which an action is right or wrong.
"behind all the arguments lies the issue of the morality of the possession of nuclear weapons"

Actually, I have VA. So thank you tax payers, for paying my Health care.

On that note, should all the military quit because they choose to work a job that makes substandard pay and get free medical?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
All this time I was right and we were arguing over nothing?

I do not think you have even opened a single link I have posted have you???



Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
My point exactly - how do you think these loans are funded? I don't need Google for that, I know. My premise is that farming today is a lifestyle choice, just like being a Doctor or Lawyer. You don't see loans out there subsidizing people becoming doctors or lawyers, do you? My wife's veterinary loan was $120K and 1/2 of it had a 6.25% interest rate (1/2 of it has a subsidized rate of 2.something %). You don't see us running to free clinics and asking for handouts.

There is more: ranchers out West are allowed to graze their cattle on BLM lands at a very subsidized rate (funded by tax payers). The cattle destroy a lot of the land, the cattle is a cause of habitat loss for wild horses (they compete for forage), the cattle pollutes and tramples the fragile river systems in the various lands. It is a lifestyle for quite a few families in places where cattle probably should not live.
Tax payers fund tons and tons of programs. You dont have to agree with them, but you will pay for them. Don't like it? Change it. or risk going to jail for not paying them at all.
Most high school kids where I lived got contraceptives from planned parenthood. I think it is a good program because I do not want to triple our total population over the next 30 years.

But again, this is a morality question. So again, telling people various programs do not exist because you do not agree with them is what you do. I tell them and let them make the choice. That is a decision guided by my moral compass. To me, it is pretty simple to qualify: You make under a certain annual wage, here are a few handouts. You make over that amount? go away.
It does not work like this: You have a job and you make under a certain annual wage, here are a few handouts. You make over that amount? go away and If you CAN make more then that, go away.

At the end of the day, everyone cannot be a doctor or a lawyer. Someone has to pick strawberries, and no one will pay them 40k a year to do it. So should they get shafted from the healthcare program because they choose to NOT find a new job?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
Didn't I suggest you get a piece of property you think you can farm, keep your job until it is paid off and you have some money in the bank and in the meantime start small, first your own garden and when you are ready - you expand? That's pretty much what you described in your little story above . It doesn't take a genius to understand and know that this is a good and HONEST way to do it, without relying on external input and living a subsistence lifestyle with barely a $100 to your name month to month.

That is not what I described, not even close. Read it again. Or actually open a link, lol.



Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
I have rehabilitated a property to become a viable small farm. I know what it takes to do these things. I have put in fencing, built shelter and storage, chicken coops, installed solar, started beekeeping, grown and still grow a garden that feeds two people - all just me and my wife. I have taken a property from a toxic-weed covered dump worth $70K to a show-property with a nice producing garden and fully self-sufficient in 3 years, with no external inputs - only my wife's and my hard work (and some hired and paid for labor when necessary) all the while working full time professional gig.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? So far I see a lot of armchair expertise (Google links) and a lot of freeloader advice.

How about you offer us your OWN story? How did YOU create a viable farm business all the while keeping a decent standard of living and not depending on the mercy of others?
I have already posted this. Try reading the entire post.
Also you still work, and your "garden" feeds you, so how is it a viable farm? Sounds like a hobby.

The information I link comes from the USDA, various Collages, US census bureau ect. All reputable sources. What information have you posted besides your opinions???????????????????



Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
Because, my friend, when majority of the examples are failures (based on statistics YOU posted), learning what they did wrong is at least, if not more, important.
45% is a majority? lol? learn 2 math?
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Old 12-28-2014, 03:46 PM
 
1,417 posts, read 1,577,163 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
45% is a majority? lol? learn 2 math?
In my experience, failure rate is much higher than 45%. Many, many people do not get to the stage where USDA is tracking their information and including them in the statistics.

According to the USDA, about 60% of small farms have sales <$10,000/year: USDA ERS - Small Farms in the United States: Persistence Under Pressure -> here is a direct quote to save you time:
"These very small noncommercial farms, in some respects, exist independently of the farm economy because their operators rely heavily on off-farm income. Overall farm production, however, continues to shift to larger operations, while the number of small commercial farms and their share of sales maintain a long-term decline. The shift to larger farms will continue to be gradual, because some small commercial farms are profitable and others are willing to accept losses. "

By the way, I never said I have a farm and I openly said growing food for us is a hobby. My point is that if I wanted it to, it could become a farm easily AND I could keep our current lifestyle with insurance and all (not be a freeloader). That's because I have put in my time and I have worked my a** off. I also have the experience to run a real business that would be viable. If it could not be viable and it would have to depend on external inputs that are artificial (i.e. freeloading) - I would not run the business to begin with. If I had employees, you better believe they would all have health care even if it is a high-deductible plan. If they could not - again, I would not run a business or I would not have employees. I guess you would just point them to the free clinic in town?

Anyways, I think I have wasted enough time on this. Please feel free to post more armchair research

Last edited by LordyLordy; 12-28-2014 at 03:58 PM..
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Old 12-28-2014, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Martinez, ca
297 posts, read 287,237 times
Reputation: 217
oh my god, you actually posted something informative, I am so proud of you! Seriously. It is a good step forward.

This Is real information:

According to the USDA, about 60% of small farms have sales <$10,000/year: USDA ERS - Small Farms in the United States: Persistence Under Pressure ->


This is just an opinion:
"In my experience, failure rate is much higher than 45%."
Which is also not backed by any evidence whatsoever.

Yes I have seen many studies that all agree and show a long term decline in small farm operations. Which is sad.

The USDA defines a farm as :
“Any place from which $1,000 or more of agri-cultural products were produced and sold or normally would have been sold during the census year"
So it would seem they track quite a variety of operations.

As of right now, I simply do not know if you consider your property to be a successful farm or a successful hobby.
You did say it was a hobby, but then you said:
"I have rehabilitated a property to become a viable small farm."
You have a very serious problem changing your opinion to make a point.


I will indeed continue to post success stories from people have beat the odds to establish themselves in agriculture who started small.
I never disagreed when Oldtimer wrote that it would be a difficult venture and I respect his experiences dealing with numerous small farms that have failed, but it IS possible and numerous people do make a living with it, that is not my opinion, that is simply fact.
So I will continue to point out those who have succeeded and provide a positive perspective to readers of this post while encouraging others to provide useful and positive information, guidance and wisdom.

When I had employees I was required to provide health care. So I did at a cost of approx 17k a year per employee.
We ran a temp to hire program and the temps would often use free clinics as well as workers comp and such until they became full time or were replaced. many times I even suggested free clinics as they were designed to help people under a specific annual income and most of these people qualified. I have also recommended planned parenthood to many people, just as I recommend various military assistance programs for veterans.
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Old 12-28-2014, 05:21 PM
 
1,417 posts, read 1,577,163 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
This is just an opinion:
"In my experience, failure rate is much higher than 45%."
Which is also not backed by any evidence whatsoever.
But it is nevertheless true. If the small farms had a >50% success rate and life was so great everyone would be doing it and the number of small farms would be growing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
Yes I have seen many studies that all agree and show a long term decline in small farm operations. Which is sad.
Oh now we all agree there is a small farm decline in numbers. Why, pray tell, are they declining? If your success stories are so abundant and great and everyone loves living on $100/month in the bank + no health insurance (or free handouts) - why is it not so popular? Even with the charity stuff available?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
The USDA defines a farm as :
“Any place from which $1,000 or more of agri-cultural products were produced and sold or normally would have been sold during the census year"
So it would seem they track quite a variety of operations.
Yes but the fact remains 60% of all small farms (which are in turn 91% of all farms in USA) are <$10,000 in sales. Which means the people who run them cannot afford Jack s*** unless they have a job in town. If you actually quoted some other stuff from that report you would see that the majority of these "farmers" rely on income from the city and are defined as middle-class BECAUSE OF THAT JOB (and they also get health insurance through it, no?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
As of right now, I simply do not know if you consider your property to be a successful farm or a successful hobby.
You did say it was a hobby, but then you said:
"I have rehabilitated a property to become a viable small farm."
You have a very serious problem changing your opinion to make a point.
I said if I wanted it to become a farm, it could. It is a hobby (gardening) in addition to be energy self-sufficient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
I will indeed continue to post success stories from people have beat the odds to establish themselves in agriculture who started small.
Now they are beating the odds? Hmm. I thought 45% failing meant odds are in their favor? You know, math education and all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
I never disagreed when Oldtimer wrote that it would be a difficult venture and I respect his experiences dealing with numerous small farms that have failed, but it IS possible and numerous people do make a living with it, that is not my opinion, that is simply fact.
Anything's possible but is it probable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
So I will continue to point out those who have succeeded and provide a positive perspective to readers of this post while encouraging others to provide useful and positive information, guidance and wisdom.
Most stories have no financials attached and no backdrop to how people got to where they are. Hence, they are useless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
I have also recommended planned parenthood to many people, just as I recommend various military assistance programs for veterans.
With all due respect - military assistance programs for veterans are designed to help people who have put their lives on the line for the country. They cannot and should not be compared to programs designed to provide health care to someone who doesn't want education or has no desire to work and better themselves.
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Old 12-28-2014, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Martinez, ca
297 posts, read 287,237 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
But it is nevertheless true. If the small farms had a >50% success rate and life was so great everyone would be doing it and the number of small farms would be growing.

Oh now we all agree there is a small farm decline in numbers. Why, pray tell, are they declining? If your success stories are so abundant and great and everyone loves living on $100/month in the bank + no health insurance (or free handouts) - why is it not so popular? Even with the charity stuff available?
We can research this!!! Asking question instead of expressing opinions, it a fantastic start!! This is a great question. The facts we have are 55% are still operating after the first decade. The current trends show less small farms! If they are going away, but not not failing or closing doors (as substantiated by data). Then the answer is????
My hypothesis:
1.
Less people are starting farms then did in previous years.
2.Larger farms are buying up smaller farms at an accelerated rate.
3.A larger number of smaller farms have been categorized (due to increased income) into larger farms at an faster rate than in previous years.

Also, this same data could suggest that there will be increasingly larger number of successful niche farms in the future as the total number of competitors for said niche vanish.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
Yes but the fact remains 60% of all small farms (which are in turn 91% of all farms in USA) are <$10,000 in sales. Which means the people who run them cannot afford Jack s*** unless they have a job in town. If you actually quoted some other stuff from that report you would see that the majority of these "farmers" rely on income from the city and are defined as middle-class BECAUSE OF THAT JOB (and they also get health insurance through it, no?).
What they can and cannot afford is your opinion.

"Ninety-one percent of U.S. farms are classified as small—gross cash farm income (GCFI) of less than $250,000. About 60 percent of these small farms are very small, generating GCFI of less than $10,000. These very small noncommercial farms, in some respects, exist independently of the farm economy because their operators rely heavily on off-farm income. The remaining small farms—small commercial farms—account for most small-farm production."
-Which means 31% generate between 250k and 10k and are labeled as small commercial farms.

Note:This does not factor in barter, under the table sales or the amount of $ they do not spend on food that is grown on the property (approx. $6600 is spent on food per person, annually) or other farm produced products. Also these fortunate's pay less in property taxes.

A quick Example:
For a family of four, the annual average expense in food is $26,400. If the farm produces 2/3 of this and does not generate any income but is managed completely by one parent (with or without the support of children), then it totals a value over the federal minimum wage in the US which is $15,080.What are the annual earnings for a full-time minimum wage worker? - UC Davis Center for Poverty Research


"The shift to larger farms will continue to be gradual, because some small commercial farms are profitable and others are willing to accept losses."
So some are doing exceptionally well, while some are not OR were never intended too. I would like to find actual figures though.



Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
I said if I wanted it to become a farm, it could. It is a hobby (gardening) in addition to be energy self-sufficient.
If that is the case, why did you call it a "hobby" and then call it a "viable farm"?
Also, if your are successful without any outside assistance, then why cant others be successful WITH outside assistance? Seems they have an edge no?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
Now they are beating the odds? Hmm. I thought 45% failing meant odds are in their favor? You know, math education and all.
According to the USDA they are.
According to you they are not, based on potentially unrelated data.
Ill go with the published USDA report.



Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
Anything's possible but is it probable?
Definition of probable:
Prob·a·ble
adjective \ˈprä-bə-bəl, ˈprä(b)-bəl\
: likely to happen or to be true but not certain
1: supported by evidence strong enough to establish presumption but not proof <a probable hypothesis>
2: establishing a probability <probable evidence>
3: likely to be or become true or real <probable outcome>

Depending on how you use this definition, then yes.
45% vs 55%

Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
Most stories have no financials attached and no backdrop to how people got to where they are. Hence, they are useless.
Did you actually read any of the examples?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
With all due respect - military assistance programs for veterans are designed to help people who have put their lives on the line for the country. They cannot and should not be compared to programs designed to provide health care to someone who doesn't want education or has no desire to work and better themselves.
Many of these same people left Vietnam and used various free clinics as civvies because of the lack of support from the VA.
Should they have not been allowed too because they were not military at the time?
What about those who WERE military but received dishonorable discharges?
Or other than honorable discharges?
Or those who served (in any war), yet did not receive a rating from the VA nor retired and now do not have any medical as civvies?
Who decides which person is trying hard enough to attain a wage capable of supporting medical insurance?
When did we start assigning values to specific lifestyles that dictate which ones are more valuable to the US than others? IE military vs small time farmers.

Sources:
CONSUMER EXPENDITURES--2013USDA ERS - Small Farms in the United States: Persistence Under Pressure

My one success story per post:
Free Union Grass Farm Rejects the Factory Farm Model | Crozet Gazette
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Old 12-28-2014, 11:44 PM
 
1,417 posts, read 1,577,163 times
Reputation: 1458
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
We can research this!!! Asking question instead of expressing opinions, it a fantastic start!!
I like your enthusiasm. However, I may be older (?) and somewhat jaded. I will tell you the answer: food is not a major expense for Americans in general. We probably have the cheapest food on the planet.

So, it pays much more to do something else than toil in the fields. Today to run a farm you have to love it and feel like it is your calling. A 150 years ago you had to farm because that was basic survival.

The standard of living in this country is high and food costs are low relative to everything else. In that situation it is obviously difficult to make a living by producing food. Yes, you can have a somewhat successful business by providing a niche service (growing heirlooms, special breeds, organics, whatever) but even that takes a lot of investment and a job in town for a while. Even with all that the pickings are slim - it's not like you will EVER make as much as you could make in an office job. Not saying you should have an office job - just that it is the reality of today.

At the end facts are just facts - they are used to produce analysis and opinions and forecasts for the future and to derive understand and knowledge of how and why things happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
What they can and cannot afford is your opinion.
OK - let's speculate a little bit here: if you are selling less than $10,000 a year in produce - what's your profit? Since you are the one saying that you don't need a job in town and much capital to run a farm - how are these people able to afford ANYTHING?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
Note:This does not factor in barter, under the table sales or the amount of $ they do not spend on food that is grown on the property (approx. $6600 is spent on food per person, annually) or other farm produced products. Also these fortunate's pay less in property taxes.
I think you have your numbers wrong - average food expenditure is much less, to the tune of about $2600/person/year (CONSUMER EXPENDITURES--2013 - a consumer unit is 2.5 people in that report if I am reading it right).
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Martinez, ca
297 posts, read 287,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
I like your enthusiasm. However, I may be older (?) and somewhat jaded. I will tell you the answer: food is not a major expense for Americans in general. We probably have the cheapest food on the planet.
"
U.S. residents spent on average about $2,273, or about 6.4 percent of their annual consumer expenditures, on food in 2012, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
As a percentage of consumer expenditures, that is less than any of the 83 other countries for which the USDA tracks data.
That doesn’t mean food is cheaper in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. In fact, the annual cost of food in the U.S. is more than the average of all the countries for which data is tracked by the USDA.
It means that the average amount spent on food, when expressed as a percentage of all the consumer goods the average U.S. citizen purchases in a year, is less than in any of these other 83 countries."
The US Spends Less On Food Than Any Other Country In The World [MAPS]


You are right and wrong on this one.
Cost of a big mac around the world
Interactive currency-comparison tool: The Big Mac index | The Economist



Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
So, it pays much more to do something else than toil in the fields. Today to run a farm you have to love it and feel like it is your calling. A 150 years ago you had to farm because that was basic survival.
The standard of living in this country is high and food costs are low relative to everything else. In that situation it is obviously difficult to make a living by producing food. Yes, you can have a somewhat successful business by providing a niche service (growing heirlooms, special breeds, organics, whatever) but even that takes a lot of investment and a job in town for a while. Even with all that the pickings are slim - it's not like you will EVER make as much as you could make in an office job. Not saying you should have an office job - just that it is the reality of today.

At the end facts are just facts - they are used to produce analysis and opinions and forecasts for the future and to derive understand and knowledge of how and why things happen.
A lot of other factors become involved when comparing to an office (or any non farm) job.
What degree, if any, was required for the office job? How much student loan debt is too much? | USA TODAY College ave.loan 33k
How was the degree purchased?
How much does the farmer save not commuting to work?
http://www.census.gov/hhes/commuting...ings_paper.pdf esti. average-$4200 annually
How much does the farmer save in property prices between city and rural?
Does the family need one or two vehicles?

So once you itemize the expenses for one individual to hold an outside job vs both people the gap closes considerably. If neither worked, then you could have no access to capitol. If both worked outside jobs, you could be losing capitol. Other things to consider:

Babysitters/childcare
Tax bracket
stress values (IE traffic, a boss, co workers)
environmental factors of not commuting daily
tax write-offs

Also US standard of living comparison.
Are we comparing it to other westernized civilizations? Or to third world countries?
Because if we are comparing it to other developed western nations, your standard of living is not that impressive and in many cases much lower.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
OK - let's speculate a little bit here: if you are selling less than $10,000 a year in produce - what's your profit? Since you are the one saying that you don't need a job in town and much capital to run a farm - how are these people able to afford ANYTHING?
Since we are speculating. One spouse brings home national median wage=$43,041.39 and other runs the farm that grosses between 10k and 0. Take the estimated income numbers and add to the food offset.
If we get crazy, you can factor the reduced annual cost of a commute and lower property taxes as well as childcare and tax write-offs vs the city job.
And all of this ignores the 31% who generate over 250k in gross sales.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
I think you have your numbers wrong - average food expenditure is much less, to the tune of about $2600/person/year (CONSUMER EXPENDITURES--2013 - a consumer unit is 2.5 people in that report if I am reading it right).
I can see how that website can be confusing here are a few more:
National Standards: Food, Clothing and Other Items =$9528 per year for a family of four
http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CostofFoodNov2014.pdf
=$8565 per year for a family of four


Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
I like your enthusiasm. However, I may be older (?) and somewhat jaded.
I agree that age difference might be a factor in our separate view points. But you must understand that the US that you had as a child does not exist for us. My generation has record high school costs and even a B/A doesn't mean you will get a job. The average income for dozens and dozens of careers requiring extensive schooling has dropped to record lows and unions are losing footholds all over. I did pretty well with my GED (mostly just lucky), but my sister who has a B/A from UCSB makes less than 20$ an hour and pays 350$ a month in loans. My fiances cousin who has a Bachelors in electrical engineering from UCLA is making 65k a year. He also has $900 a month student loans. Forget my view, look at statistics. Even the military has cut back and now you have to jump through hoops to find a spot. You cannot have a record, must have a HS diploma and a decent AZVAB score.
This is why so many people are moving into all sorts of various fields of work, because the land of opportunity has become the land of un-payable debt.
I do not think the US is failing, I do not think the world is coming to an end. But I do see a generation strangled with debt looking for other options.

Federal Debt: Total Public Debt as Percent of Gross Domestic Product - FRED - St. Louis Fed
Fast Facts
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf

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Old 12-29-2014, 03:41 PM
 
9,145 posts, read 8,410,527 times
Reputation: 19907
When we see figures for small farm failures, they are talking about the ones where the farmer went bankrupt, or lost to foreclosure or other measure.

What is not being considered is the ones that I saw, where the farmers were losing money and were able to sell before they went bankrupt or lost due to foreclosure.

I know of a tremendous number of so called small farms the farmer owned and operated till they ran out of money, and then were able to sell out and able to pay off creditors, mortgage holders, etc. These are what people in the business of selling farms are familiar with.

A poster above said that they had done a 10 minute check and found 1100 farms for sale. Listed a few of the cheap ones. One was a good place to hunt, and never even suggested there was any farm qualities to the farm. Another 40 acres or so with 13 acres tillable (usable for farming), currently growing tobacco. What was not mentioned was who was farming the tobacco. Was it the farm owner, or was it leased to a grower. There was no mention that it included a tobacco allotment (government permission to grow so many acres of tobacco), and was not included with the sale if it was. Tobacco allotments are bought and sold, and without one you cannot grow and sell tobacco. Government has been buying them up for years to get rid of them as tobacco sales decline. 13 acres is going to require hired help to farm it as tobacco is a very labor intensive crop and 13 acres requires hired help. Average profit per acre is $1,500 per acre. Problem only 13 acres is not enough to make any profit on as you do not have economy of scale in your favor due to hiring the help. Most small tobacco farmers farm an average of 30 acres to be profitable. Farm production and sales, is the highest gross income per acre for all farms. Problem is that it is the one crop, that has not had labor replaced by mechanization, and is very labor intensive. Another problem, it should only be planted for 2 years in that location, and then rested from tobacco for a year, as tobacco depletes the soil and needs rested to recover. This is one reason that the farm very well was farmed by a tenant farmer, who has other fields in addition to the 13 acres.

This is the reason that 40 acres sold cheap. Only 13 acres really productive land, the rest not level, and only used for growing trees.

When a city boy looks at all those small farms listed, he has no idea of what he is looking at.
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:57 PM
 
1,417 posts, read 1,577,163 times
Reputation: 1458
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
"
U.S. residents spent on average about $2,273, or about 6.4 percent of their annual consumer expenditures, on food in 2012, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
As a percentage of consumer expenditures, that is less than any of the 83 other countries for which the USDA tracks data.
So, per capita, US has lowest food expenditures in the world on a percentage of average income basis. Hence, food is cheapest in the US.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
That doesn’t mean food is cheaper in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. In fact, the annual cost of food in the U.S. is more than the average of all the countries for which data is tracked by the USDA.
It means that the average amount spent on food, when expressed as a percentage of all the consumer goods the average U.S. citizen purchases in a year, is less than in any of these other 83 countries."
So, food is cheapest in the US. When things like these are compared the per capita cost as percentage of average income is usually used, not hard currency costs. If you compared money spent in USA on food in absolute terms ($2500/person), it may be higher than many other places but incomes are also higher. So we go with the percentage of income expenditure. Which makes US the cheapest place to eat. If you are dirt poor, no place is cheap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
A lot of other factors become involved when comparing to an office (or any non farm) job.
What degree, if any, was required for the office job? How much student loan debt is too much? | USA TODAY College ave.loan 33k
How was the degree purchased?
How much does the farmer save not commuting to work?
http://www.census.gov/hhes/commuting...ings_paper.pdf esti. average-$4200 annually
How much does the farmer save in property prices between city and rural?
Does the family need one or two vehicles?
Oh Jeez. When will people learn. This is your classic question that people whine about when they pay taxes: they earned too much so they pay too much. Yeah, but, BUT: you earned a lot so some of it will go to taxes, what is left is still a lot. It is also a lot more than if you earned nothing and didn't pay any taxes

Professional degrees are expensive but people with those degrees make the money - doctors, lawyers, engineers etc. Some professional degrees are as expensive but people do not make the money (veterinarians are a good example). These people are like your farmers - they do back breaking work, they deal with idiots all day, get pissed on, scratched, pooped on etc. and they never make past a mid-level manager in a bank. They have to LOVE what they do. Just like the farmer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
So once you itemize the expenses for one individual to hold an outside job vs both people the gap closes considerably. If neither worked, then you could have no access to capitol. If both worked outside jobs, you could be losing capitol.
Yeah right. I would rather earn a lot and deal with some expenses than be **** poor and walk around claiming I am stress free (does that also mean responsibility-free?) and depend on the kindness of strangers to offer me help when I need it (be it for health or otherwise).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
Also US standard of living comparison.
Are we comparing it to other westernized civilizations? Or to third world countries?
Because if we are comparing it to other developed western nations, your standard of living is not that impressive and in many cases much lower.
In absolute terms the US has one of the highest standards of living in the world, you can bring in France, Germany, Finland, Iceland etc. and that's fine - we could definitely learn a thing or two from them. But, we still have a high standard of living as a society, on average. The problem is, there are many people who are poor around here and a few that are VERY rich and some in between. The very poor are very poor,no argument there. However, as a society, there is plenty of opportunity to succeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
Since we are speculating. One spouse brings home national median wage=$43,041.39 and other runs the farm that grosses between 10k and 0. Take the estimated income numbers and add to the food offset.
What food offset? It's not like your farm produces EVERYTHING.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
If we get crazy, you can factor the reduced annual cost of a commute and lower property taxes as well as childcare and tax write-offs vs the city job.
Even with this you will always be way poorer than two spouses bringing in $43K each. Not to mention health insurance, savings in the bank, investments etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
And all of this ignores the 31% who generate over 250k in gross sales.
Sure but it is only 31%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
I can see how that website can be confusing here are a few more:
National Standards: Food, Clothing and Other Items =$9528 per year for a family of four
http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CostofFoodNov2014.pdf
=$8565 per year for a family of four
The math you posted above supports what the website I linked to says - the math works out to be pretty close, give or take.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
My generation has record high school costs and even a B/A doesn't mean you will get a job. The average income for dozens and dozens of careers requiring extensive schooling has dropped to record lows and unions are losing footholds all over. I did pretty well with my GED (mostly just lucky), but my sister who has a B/A from UCSB makes less than 20$ an hour and pays 350$ a month in loans. My fiances cousin who has a Bachelors in electrical engineering from UCLA is making 65k a year. He also has $900 a month student loans. Forget my view, look at statistics. Even the military has cut back and now you have to jump through hoops to find a spot. You cannot have a record, must have a HS diploma and a decent AZVAB score.
This is why so many people are moving into all sorts of various fields of work, because the land of opportunity has become the land of un-payable debt.
I happen to disagree with this. There is a lot of opportunity out there for people who want it. I can't tell you the number of times I have interviewed a candidate who sucked (even with a degree from a "good" university). People are lazy and they think that going to college means taking a 3 credit course in Golf and a bunch of courses like "women in gender studies" for 2 years until they "decide what they want to be". College is not a social experience (as many like to see it and live it) - it is primarily a pursuance of a profession you should like and want to be a part of (in addition to a personal growth and learning experience).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastnavy View Post
I do not think the US is failing, I do not think the world is coming to an end. But I do see a generation strangled with debt looking for other options.
Whose debt? Over what? $30K of student debt is nothing a person cannot work through in a few years of being careful with their money. The extra debt that is stupid debt is self inflicted.
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