U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Rural and Small Town Living
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 10-16-2013, 12:45 AM
 
Location: Ohio
13,900 posts, read 11,002,816 times
Reputation: 7243

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
Hi, everyone. I'm a nearly-middle-aged suburban guy with a boring office job. (Not that I'm complaining.) I'm happy to be employed, but the idea of living on and operating a small farm really appeals to me. I love working outdoors, enjoy physical labor, am not averse to getting very dirty, and I don't run screaming like a little girl at the sight of blood or animal poo.

What's the most profitable type of farming? I've heard that organic farming (veggies and/or meat) makes a good living. (An example would be Polyface Farms in Virginia, profiled in Food Inc.). I also like the idea of a vineyard. (Go ahead, roll your eyes. I know it sounds kinda ridiculous. Especially for a guy whose favorite wine is Three Buck Chuck.) I like the idea of being outside a lot, working really hard for a few hours, then not at all. And not having a boss sounds pretty good too!

Is this a viable idea? And how would one go about it, other than the obvious steps of buying land and equipment/animals? Register with USDA?

It's funny: My 92-year-old godfather couldn't wait to get away from the farm in Alvarado, Texas when he was a boy. Now here I am dreaming of that life wistfully.

Thanks for any thoughts or advice.

Want the short answer? KEEP DREAMING.... and going to your office job.

The days where you could go stab your family crest in to a small plot of land and carve out a simple living for yourself and a family are OVER. If you want to make a living, you've got to have a multi-million dollar operation with employees and regulation and everything else.

That's the short answer, from someone who knows.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-16-2013, 07:51 AM
 
1,417 posts, read 1,577,507 times
Reputation: 1458
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper 88 View Post
Want the short answer? KEEP DREAMING.... and going to your office job.

The days where you could go stab your family crest in to a small plot of land and carve out a simple living for yourself and a family are OVER. If you want to make a living, you've got to have a multi-million dollar operation with employees and regulation and everything else.

That's the short answer, from someone who knows.
You obviously don't know that much

There are plenty of small farms around where I live. There is a family farm nearby that started on 12 acres - they now grow flowers for all the large nearby distributors and have expanded to 130 acres of holdings all from their profits and success. The key is to be near a large market that you can supply. Plenty of CSAs, small and large farms here, many of them organic. it is definitely doable if you have the right attitude and know-how.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-16-2013, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,151 posts, read 50,332,412 times
Reputation: 19856
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper 88 View Post
Want the short answer? KEEP DREAMING.... and going to your office job.

The days where you could go stab your family crest in to a small plot of land and carve out a simple living for yourself and a family are OVER. If you want to make a living, you've got to have a multi-million dollar operation with employees and regulation and everything else.

That's the short answer, from someone who knows.
With any due respect, you are in error.

There are folks who are earning a living, supporting a family and thriving; on small farms. Entirely without a big operation.

I am member of our regional Organic Certifying agency. We have a large state-wide network of farms and markets. Within this network are many farms who take in 'Apprentices' each year [this past season over 150 farms took in apprentices]. Of those generally about 1/4 will decide to stay with farming, at least another year.

With 2 to 3 years of experience, some of these Journeymen are posted in positions as Farm Managers of CSAs. While others strike out on their own to start independent farms. Most of those new Farm Managers, after a couple years will venture out onto their own private farm. Again our agency helps to coordinate the process of getting those new farmers onto new farms.

I see many farms around me that started will no more than the shirt on their back.

I know many people who are: "... carve out a simple living for yourself and a family ..." with farming.



Granted my income is not solely from my farm. I am a military retiree, I have a pension about equal to flipping burgers. With my level of income, I bought 150 acres, and I now market farm produce in a local market.

I do not have: "... a multi-million dollar operation with employees and regulation and everything else...."

My post comes from: "... someone who knows ...", and is actually doing it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-16-2013, 12:26 PM
 
41 posts, read 79,405 times
Reputation: 33
The farming of small animals is increasing popularity. Common small animals include Rabbits, Quail, Chickens, Ducks and other small species grown for meat and by-products. The selling of eggs, meat and stock are the obvious sources of income for a small scale poultry business.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-16-2013, 12:56 PM
 
3,438 posts, read 4,837,964 times
Reputation: 5408
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
With any due respect, you are in error.

There are folks who are earning a living, supporting a family and thriving; on small farms. Entirely without a big operation.

I am member of our regional Organic Certifying agency. We have a large state-wide network of farms and markets. Within this network are many farms who take in 'Apprentices' each year [this past season over 150 farms took in apprentices]. Of those generally about 1/4 will decide to stay with farming, at least another year.

With 2 to 3 years of experience, some of these Journeymen are posted in positions as Farm Managers of CSAs. While others strike out on their own to start independent farms. Most of those new Farm Managers, after a couple years will venture out onto their own private farm. Again our agency helps to coordinate the process of getting those new farmers onto new farms.

I see many farms around me that started will no more than the shirt on their back.

I know many people who are: "... carve out a simple living for yourself and a family ..." with farming.



Granted my income is not solely from my farm. I am a military retiree, I have a pension about equal to flipping burgers. With my level of income, I bought 150 acres, and I now market farm produce in a local market.

I do not have: "... a multi-million dollar operation with employees and regulation and everything else...."

My post comes from: "... someone who knows ...", and is actually doing it.

but, as you stated, has a steady monthly pension

It would be more interesting to hear actual posters who are not doing it with the help of a steady
govt pension.

Thus your last sentence is irrelevant as you are not actually doing what the OP seeks to do.
( I doubt the OP has a steady monthly pension to subsidize his dream.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-16-2013, 01:12 PM
 
3,438 posts, read 4,837,964 times
Reputation: 5408
sorry for the rant, but this retired dairy farmer has gone to many field days where the purpose was to get small farmers started and profitable.

Seems every one I attended, the people that stated..........." I am proof".....were poor examples as usually there were govt pensions in their income.

The attendees who were interested were younger folk who were not retired and thus comparing them to the presenters ".......I am proof"........was comparing apples to oranges
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-16-2013, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Ohio
13,900 posts, read 11,002,816 times
Reputation: 7243
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordyLordy View Post
You obviously don't know that much

There are plenty of small farms around where I live. There is a family farm nearby that started on 12 acres - they now grow flowers for all the large nearby distributors and have expanded to 130 acres of holdings all from their profits and success. The key is to be near a large market that you can supply. Plenty of CSAs, small and large farms here, many of them organic. it is definitely doable if you have the right attitude and know-how.
Do you live on a farm? If not then you don't know. Just seeing a bunch of farms when you take a stroll through the country side does not equate to a bunch of successful farms.... Most farmers have been forced to supplement their income with outside jobs or abandon their farming all together. There are many farms in my area including my own. The only reason the farming community here has survived is because of the inception of Big Oil in to the region, that and most of the owners are older, and so they collect social security checks, which are their primary income. You don't see many young farmers in this area.

It may be different in different regions of the country, I don't know. But nobody around here is able to make a decent living raising beef/milk cattle or harvesting grain.

Last edited by WhipperSnapper 88; 10-16-2013 at 02:20 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-16-2013, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Ohio
13,900 posts, read 11,002,816 times
Reputation: 7243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
With any due respect, you are in error.

There are folks who are earning a living, supporting a family and thriving; on small farms. Entirely without a big operation.

I am member of our regional Organic Certifying agency. We have a large state-wide network of farms and markets. Within this network are many farms who take in 'Apprentices' each year [this past season over 150 farms took in apprentices]. Of those generally about 1/4 will decide to stay with farming, at least another year.

With 2 to 3 years of experience, some of these Journeymen are posted in positions as Farm Managers of CSAs. While others strike out on their own to start independent farms. Most of those new Farm Managers, after a couple years will venture out onto their own private farm. Again our agency helps to coordinate the process of getting those new farmers onto new farms.

I see many farms around me that started will no more than the shirt on their back.

I know many people who are: "... carve out a simple living for yourself and a family ..." with farming.



Granted my income is not solely from my farm. I am a military retiree, I have a pension about equal to flipping burgers. With my level of income, I bought 150 acres, and I now market farm produce in a local market.

I do not have: "... a multi-million dollar operation with employees and regulation and everything else...."

My post comes from: "... someone who knows ...", and is actually doing it.
Ah but you're not "actually doing it" because you have a government pension. Take that away, would you really be "making it".... I don't mean scraping by, I mean actually living comfortably. This Organic Certifying Agency you work with, do you get any kind of salary for your efforts or are you doing it all out of the goodness of your heart? As someone who's old enough to retire, you probably don't have children living with you that you have to support, do you? What about a wife/husband? Are you married? Does your spouse work outside the farm? If not, what about social security? Do they collect? Do you?

Last edited by WhipperSnapper 88; 10-16-2013 at 02:19 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-16-2013, 02:43 PM
 
1,417 posts, read 1,577,507 times
Reputation: 1458
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper 88 View Post
Do you live on a farm? If not then you don't know. Just seeing a bunch of farms when you take a stroll through the country side does not equate to a bunch of successful farms.... Most farmers have been forced to supplement their income with outside jobs or abandon their farming all together. There are many farms in my area including my own. The only reason the farming community here has survived is because of the inception of Big Oil in to the region, that and most of the owners are older, and so they collect social security checks, which are their primary income. You don't see many young farmers in this area.

It may be different in different regions of the country, I don't know. But nobody around here is able to make a decent living raising beef/milk cattle or harvesting grain.
Well first you accuse me of not living on a farm and taking strolls around them and making conclusions and then you say that it may be different elsewhere but around where you are it is not....

I said, you have to live near a decent sized market - having a farm within an hour of a large metro area would do. That's the case here, there tons of YOUNG people without pensions farming on small farms (5-20 acres) and making a living. They are not rich but they seem happy to me. Granted, the culture in the city is "green", even the food carts advertise organic, grass fed, free range etc. But, it is doable and everyone who says it is not - does not know how to do it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-16-2013, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,151 posts, read 50,332,412 times
Reputation: 19856
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper 88 View Post
Ah but you're not "actually doing it" because you have a government pension. Take that away, would you really be "making it".... I don't mean scraping by, I mean actually living comfortably.
We would be surviving.

Remember I work with many of these small start-ups that do not have the assist of a pension.



Quote:
... This Organic Certifying Agency you work with, do you get any kind of salary for your efforts or are you doing it all out of the goodness of your heart?
I am a member, I do not have any salary from them. We have around 10,000 members.



Quote:
... As someone who's old enough to retire, you probably don't have children living with you that you have to support, do you?
I retired on pension at 42. Our youngest moved out a year ago, six years after we moved here and began this adventure. We started this with 2 children at home.

I know young farmers who are starting their farms with infants.



Quote:
... What about a wife/husband? Are you married? Does your spouse work outside the farm? If not, what about social security? Do they collect? Do you?
I am married. My Dw is here. I am not old enough for SS. My Dw is not old enough for SS.

My Dw holds a p/t job, most of her income and my pension is going toward our solar electric system. Not our living expenses. If she was not working, then we would not be installing a solar electric system.

She wants us to be disconnected from the electric company before she quits working in town.



If I did not have a pension, then either of us could work for minimum-wage in town, and we would at the same place. A family only really needs one minimum-wage job in town to support themselves, during farm start-up.



I bought forest land in '05. We are converting it to food production. There is a learning curve, and it takes time to get production levels up.

As I already explained the Apprentice/Journeymen are on established farms, so they do not have this start-up process, that I am going through.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Rural and Small Town Living
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:11 AM.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top