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How could I get into farming Expand / Collapse
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Posted 10/23/2013 1:05:28 PM
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I’m really interested in having a ranch or farm and making profit from it. However, I’m a graduate student in Finance and I don’t have any experience in farming. I just don’t want to live in the big cities and I wish one day I can have my own land. My current plan is wait couple years and purchase a land to star my dream career.
I just don’t know what kind of farm/ranch is the best choice for people with few experiences to get into farming. Growing fruit? Hay? Crops? Or operating an entertainment ranch……. Could you give me some advice?
Also, location is another question I have so far. I notice the price range is huge in different states of US. I just wonder if anyone could tell me which factor I should consider when I purchase land. Such as water, climate, transportation, local price (beef, milk….).
Thank you so much!
Post #30849
Posted 10/23/2013 4:57:05 PM
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First, figure out how where you're most comfortable in terms of climate. Unless you intend to live in the Sahara or Antarctica, there's crops you can grow.

Next figure out how urban or rural you'd like to be. Your options aren't just 'city' or 'not city'.

After that, find out how much land you need and look into land for sale and why it's for sale. Some stuff you can't put a ranch on, some you can't put electricity on, and some land you can own, but have to leave wildlife alone. Ask around at farmers markets, county fairs, and classifieds.

Next, find out what will grow in your USDA zone and how hard it is to keep it alive and fruiting. Keep in mind those are separate things. I have an ancient olive, but no idea how to get it to fruit. Dragon fruit will grow where I live, but it requires a bat not native to here to pollinate it.

Start with what you like to eat or grow and look into companion planting. Try different companion plants with others if you have trouble.

Last, if you want animals, talk to breeders. Find out all the equipment you need, the right breeds, what they need for fun and exercise, and what's poisonous. Again, go with what you like in terms of food, but go slow. Social animals need buddies, but not too many. Don't get a huge number of animals, get a few and expand when you're ready.
Post #30850
Posted 10/24/2013 1:18:09 PM
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Thank you so much! I totally agree with you.
Also, I was thinking to work for a farm at the beginning, but I don't know any farm wants to hire a person with zero experience.
Post #30853
Posted 10/24/2013 6:04:32 PM


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My advice is to do research, lots of research! We wanted a moderate climate without extremes and a low cost of living so we settled on NE Alabama. There are very few restrictions on what we can do on our 40 acres. We started with blueberries and fruit trees that will take a few years to mature because we still have full time jobs.

We added a few "starter goats" because they are inexpensive and available. It gave us a chance to learn and figure out if we liked it. We've added a few sheep, but decided we really like the goats best.

Our adventure has taken several twists and turns. Last year I had a sick baby goat so I had to learn to milk the nanny. Turns out I enjoyed it and ended up with a few gallons of milk which I didn't want to waste, so I learned to make soap with it. Now I'm practically addicted to making soap and I am working on a plan to start selling it.

I guess the moral of the story is start with a plan, but be flexible and willing to explore...you never know where it will take you,

M. and D.
Post #30854
Posted 10/24/2013 7:34:33 PM
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Thank you for your reply!
When you buy fruit trees and goats, do you know where and how to sell your production?
I always wonder if I should know how to sell my production before I buy a farm? or just wait till your production are ready to be sold and find the buyer?
Post #30857
Posted 10/25/2013 4:14:51 PM
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[quote]han (10/24/2013)
Thank you so much! I totally agree with you.
Also, I was thinking to work for a farm at the beginning, but I don't know any farm wants to hire a person with zero experience.[/quote]

Some will, some won't. There are programs for those who want to get into farming to intern at farms.
Post #30860
Posted 10/25/2013 4:48:14 PM


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If we knew where you are located we may be able to assist you better. You may even be near one of the forum members and they may try to help you get started.

Ken

Deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry
Post #30862
Posted 10/25/2013 6:55:37 PM
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I'm in Boston, MA. I'm an international student, once I get a job with working visa I could start working toward my dream job.
Post #30865
Posted 10/26/2013 1:52:17 PM


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We have a friend who owns a fruit stand and he sells our blueberries, blackberries and pears. My goat milk soap I plan to sell on consignment at a local antique mall or craft fairs. Right now I am just focused on learning and getting the plants healthy. We have a nice compost plan which has helped support the orchard and garden.

I did sell my baby goats on Craigs list this Spring and that worked really well. Some buyers I had come to the farm, but a few of them made me a little nervous on the phone so I met them in town. I am expecting about a dozen more kids in the next couple of months so I will be selling them for Spring. That seems to be 'goat season' around here.

You can always watch the ads for someone who would be willing to let you learn in exchange for help. I know we would if you were closer!

M. and D.
Post #30866
Posted 10/27/2013 10:30:23 AM
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Han I don't know how long you've been in the US but I'm 2 hours north of you and here in New England the winters are long and the summers are short. You need to start by looking well outside the city limits North, South, & West. Going to Farmers Markets and talking to the farmers that are selling there is another good place to get leads and that will also help you decide what type of farming you want to start with.

Once you get your work visa and are ready to start checking around for places to work you'll want to invest in a good heavy Carrhart or similar type coat and insulated coveralls as well as a pair of Muck boots that have a removable felt lining - muck boots are something you'll want for year round use so the removable lining is a good thing to have.
Post #30869
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