Wednesday, November 27, 2013

TBF 039 :: How Long Until Full-Time Farming, Farm Updates, and a Hard Lesson Learned

How long will it be until I am able to be a full-time farmer without the need of any off-farm income? That is a question that I have heard quite a few times in the past five years of being a beginning farmer and writing and talking about it on-line. It is a very valid question though, and even one that I have thought about a lot during this farming journey. There are two important things to think about though when you are looking at that question though I believe. First of all I think it is important to realize that a majority of farmers in the United States have off-farm income, and secondly sometimes people who want to be farmers don't always want to quit their job in town. That is the case with me at this point in my life. I very much enjoy my work in town and it is something I could see myself doing for a very long time, but that doesn't mean that I don't think we could make the farm go full-time. There are some limiting factors to think about though ...
  • Mortgages can be killer and be something that holds you back from farming full-time.
  • There are a lot of expenses that are variable depending on your family situation. For example in our family health insurance is a huge expense ... bigger than the mortgage!
  • How much capital do you have to spend and live off of until the farm starts making money. You know the old adage ... you gotta spend money to make money.
  • And on, and on, and on!
On today's episode I take some time to answer a listener e-mail all about that question ... How long until I become a full-time farmer. I do my best to answer the question, but in the end it seems like a non-answer. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject. If you were starting from zero how long do you think it would take you to get to full-time?

Links Mentioned in This Episode ...
If you have an input on the topic be sure to leave a comment below or send us an e-mail.

The Beginning Farmer ShowAs always, I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting the show with your encouragement and reviews on iTunes! I am continually working to produce a better show, and I'm thankful for all of the listeners sticking with me as I learn. If you do enjoy the show, don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes and leave a five start rating and review (by clicking the link or the image on the right). If you are an Android phone user you can also subscribe on the free Stitcher App. It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show!

I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with The Beginning Farmer and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ... 

**Special Note :: A few users are experiencing issues downloading the show on iTunes. If you have any experience with podcasts and how they can play nicely with iTunes I would love some suggestions.**

(if you are interested in the music in this episode check out my brother's record label, Historic Records) 

1 comment:

Bruce King said...

It's not hard to raise 300 pigs on rented acres. Not hard at all.

What's hard is finding the market for 300 pigs at $4.50 a pound hanging weight, which is what salatins example calls for, and labor that is basically free. He lists the hours for the project, but doesn't put a labor cost down.
Salatin is a great cheerleader. But the devil is in the details in farming.

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