How to Be a Farmer Professionally

Do you want to become a farmer but don’t have experience, or aren’t inheriting a farm from your family? There has been a rise in interest in self-sustainability, hobby farms, and farming among younger people looking to simplify their lives, pursue their passions, and make an income. Farming can mean different things to different people.

What you grow or raise can vary, as can the size, shape, and type of farm you maintain. Here are hopefully a few steps to help start your journey toward becoming a farmer. This is how to be a farmer.

What Is a Farmer?

A farmer is someone who grows food and raises livestock with the objective of mass production.

How Do You Get A Farm?

Most farmers inherit the land and are raised in a family farming tradition. That said, first-generation farmers are plentiful across the country as well. These are people who either bought farms or bought land with the intent to farm on it.

Does a Farmer Need an Education?

Anyone can be a farmer. All you need is a farm. However, to be a successful farmer, it takes knowledge and skill. This is why you may want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences, farm business, or sustainability or register for programs where you can learn the intricacies of farming.

Read books. Do online research. Take free courses if they are available. Education is your best weapon in navigating the challenges of farming.

What Work Does a Farmer Do?

A farmer has a lot of work to do yearly. Day-to-day, they may be doing things from planting and harvesting crops to feeding and caring for livestock, selling their crops and livestock at the market, and ensuring their land is well-maintained. Farming equipment is kept in working condition. There is also much more to do, as you’ll find out.

How Do You Choose Your Type of Farming?

What type of farming you do can depend on climate, local laws and regulations, cost, time, personal preference, and other factors. You want the type of farming you pick to be profitable in some way. Some more popular farming types include organic farming, tree farming, cattle, poultry, beekeeping, flower farming, commercial farming, and pick-your-own farming.

Purchase Your Farming Equipment and Resources

After you’ve done a bit of organizing, have the land, and have the budget drawn up, then’s the time to buy the machines, equipment, tools, and resources you need to farm. Source and purchase equipment, i.e. tractors, plows, harvesters, hay balers, etc. You should know what you need based on the plan you have for your farm.

Optimize the Layout of Barns and Farm Facilities

If you’ve purchased an existing farm, you may want to inspect the barns and facilities. Ensure they’re safe. Ladders should be in good condition. Floorboards should be maintained. Any rot can be removed.

If you’re building a new barn or farm, ensure the layout is optimal, with adequate storage and paths for what you will use it for and the equipment or livestock kept there. You should also set up barn exhaust fan systems and climate control management.

Research Your Local Farms and Community

Look at how local farms are run, what kind of farms they are, how many farms are in your area, and more. You may even want to talk to a few farmers to pick up some hints and tricks or get advice on what they would do in your shoes. Preliminary research like this is important.

For farmers receptive to the idea of sitting down with you for a conversation, you can ask them about their daily routine when they started and what they might have done differently.

Evaluate Sources of Financing (Loans, Grants, Etc.)

Farming is costly and requires funding. There are different loan programs and possible ways to ensure you have the funds required to get started farming. Look at how you can secure start-up financing for a farm to cover basic costs, including equipment and the construction of farm facilities, such as barns.

Stay Current on Farming Regulations

When you aren’t out there on land farming, such as during winter, it’s an opportunity for a farmer to brush up on farming regulations and laws. These can change, sometimes greatly altering how and what you can farm and other factors that can make or break your revenues and profits.

Keep Track of Your Accounting

As a farmer, of course, like anyone else, you must pay taxes. Farming is essentially running a business. There is a lot to track and do. There is payroll, expenses to monitor, and income to track. The farmer doesn’t need to be their accountant. However, they must have someone they trust or hire to do it.