When I analyzed the people visiting my website and following my Facebook page, I found out that majority are young people. I never thought that young people are interested in farming because the media has been telling us that they don’t like the “poor” man’s job, which is the farmer.
For people who are interested in farming, here are some rules for starting your own farm which will serves as a guide for you.
- As much as possible, avoid debt. I am not saying that you should never take on debt. You will need it later on once you gain more experience and have created reliable cash flow in your business. For the meantime, start small and use whatever capital you have.
- Next thing you need to do is get an “actual” experience in farming. You will not get experience from obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture and by reading books, blogs and tips. If you came from a family of farmers, then that is good start. You might probably have an experience in farming but if you’ve grown in the city and most of the time you are in front of your computers, then apply for apprenticeship or volunteer in a farm to gain actual experience.
- Before you sow your very first seed or buy your first chickens or goats, ask yourself where are you going to sell your produce? Are there people willing to buy your products in your area? How are you going to sell them? You must identify your market before starting a farm. This is basic in every business. After identifying your market, create a Plan B as a backup plan, then Plan C and if needed up to Plan Z. Chances are you are going to need them.
- Analyze your soil. Are the crops you are going to plant suitable for your land? How about your livestock, are they going to survive on your property? However, modern technology gives us more flexibility but you need more capital.
- Talk to people and visit market places in your area and near the vicinity of your property. What do they love to eat? Grow what people want to eat and not what you want to grow. Maybe, you are so passionate to grow arugula and planted them in your one-hectare land but who will buy them? Are you going to eat all of them?
- People who are passionate in farming are definitely workaholics at first but just like an office job, you need some day off. Take some rest and set reasonable targets. You need to go to a place, probably under the tree in your farm and visualize your career in farming, set annual goals but make sure that it is reasonable.
- You cannot avoid people telling negative words about your new career but don’t worry about what other people think. They might even laugh at your goals but hold on to your dreams and keep working on it. People talking about you is one of the challenges in every person’s career whether farming, information technology, or whatever. Keep going and keep working.
- Take some time to laugh and have a sense of humor. We are all aware that one of the most difficult jobs in the world is farming. It is labor intensive and just like the stock market, you face risks and challenges. But if we take some time to laugh, these hard works, risks and challenges will not give us stress and we will not be burned out.
- When we started farming, we all want to be successful and prove to people that you’ve made the right decision. But it is ok to allow yourself the opportunity to fail. Failure is a painful process but in farming, it is important to fail as it can be a useful tool. It will teach us about our personal limits of time and energy. If we will be observant and keep recording of our activities in the farm, you will know why you fail and you will learn from it. It will give us the chance to analyze things for future undertakings and it will make us more intellectually stronger. You cannot say you’re successful if you never fail in your life.
- Just like any other profession, farming is a continuous learning process. Keep reading, ask questions if necessary, and share whatever knowledge and experience you gained in farming. There are available information from the internet and if you have no internet connection in your farm, don’t be shy and ask experienced farmers. And, if you have gained knowledge and experience, share it and be an inspiration to others.
If you have done all those 10 guides, you must congratulate yourself for being one of the best farmers in the world.