Working with animals and living off the fat of the land is a dream for many. But like any career, the road into farming isn’t clear and simple. For some farming is a family business that gets passed down through the generations, making it easier to pick up skills from a younger age and get subsequent jobs. For those with no farming experience, it can be harder to get one’s foot in the door but still perfectly achievable. Here are some of the criteria you’ll need to follow your passions.
Getting agricultural training
You don’t need a degree in agriculture to become a farmer, but having some schooling can help. You should start by reading up on farming from books and possibly volunteering on a farm. From here you can consider a college course or other form of training. www.hotcourses.com has lots of classes to choose from. There’s a lot of science and technology know how involved in farming nowadays (e.g. agricultural mechanical engineering, crop science, veterinary medicines, drone technology) and knowing some of these modern skills is important if you hope to eventually turn farming into a profitable business.
Your next step should be to get some paid experience on a farm. You can find vacancies by applying to farms individually or by using job listing sites such as www.indeed.com. The pay as a labourer is generally very low, so bear this is mind. However, this experience will give you the opportunity to learn all the skills of being a farmer hands on. You may be able to take on more responsibilities over time. Be prepared to move somewhere rural as commuting to and from the farm could be costly.
Buying your own farm
After a few years, you may be proficient enough to consider running your own farm. Buying a farm off somewhere else is likely to be much easier than starting your own from scratch – or at the very least less expensive.
Know what your farm’s purpose is. For example, if you’re starting a horse farm, you may need a certain amount of land to keep these animals on, as well as constructing a stable – this site www.jumpintogreenerpastures.com can help you out. If you’re growing crops, you may need to budget for the cost of machinery such as tractors and ploughs, as well as fertiliser.
Understanding the costs and commitment
Starting up a farm is very expensive. You have the cost of the land to consider, as well as any equipment. On top of this, you may want to buy livestock which will also come with high maintenance costs. On top of this you have the physical demands of being a farmer. You’ll often be working more than 8 hour days and getting up before dawn, carrying out a lot of manual labour throughout the day. Eventually you will make your money back and the drain of getting up early will dissipate as your body gets used to it, however it’s important to understand what you’re getting yourself into first.