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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Poor Farmers!
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Brogan    Posted 02-04-2003 at 15:46:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have a beautiful farm house and barn. We are now raising Tennessee walking horses and have been doing such for about 2 years. I am not new to the farming buisness and have raised cows, chickens and pigs. We have lots of land and are located in a small, tourist filled ( in the summer) town. We've had a farm stand and thats been a ok buisness but its only for a few months,...we really need a buisness year round. Its alot of work and not enough money. Making a living off this farm is bringing us down. We may even lose it. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions that cold help us? Please....were becoming just another lost farm.


JanO    Posted 02-05-2003 at 12:20:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
If you have the land, I suggest that you board horses for others that have more money then you do. I grew up in this business and pastureing horses is relativly cheap, and easy work if you do it right. Depending on where your at, and what the weather does you can even do it in the winter months at a little higher rate to compensate for the feed you might have to suppliment the pasture with. We raised our prices 50.00 a head for winter months since we had to buy hay by the ton to feed every day. If your just breeding and raising Walkers, your asking for trouble. It's ok to have a breeding program on the side, but if your counting on it being your only source of income you might as well hire the moving truck right away. Just my opinion, for what it's worth.


Tom A    Posted 02-05-2003 at 08:29:18       [Reply]  [Send Email]
My remarks will likely be unpopular, but here's my opinion:

There are lots of great ideas below on how to make more off your farm, and I think they're all worth looking at. But the other aspect of making a farm (or any business) profitable is in reducing costs. This is the thing that I see some (not all!) of my local farmers going wrong.

They spend lots on the newest, most expensive equipment from big air-conditioned tractors with radio and GPS to hay-testors and what-have-you and spend more on equipment and interest on loans than they ever could hope to make. Some of them drive newer, nicer cars, trucks, or SUVs than anyone in town...I know, I know, they write them off as a business expense. They have new houses, new furniture, new TVs. Then they apply for (and get) government loans and grants.

My point is *not* that I wish I had what they have, because I don't. But some of these very same folks are the ones who complain about how they can't make it farming!

So in my search for how to make money off my own farm, I am always looking to reduce my spending because that is the other side of the same coin and is probably even more important.

Tom A


You can apply for Gov. Grants...    Posted 02-05-2003 at 06:51:19       [Reply]  [Send Email]
that you don't have to pay back...Do a search for Farm Grants or Government grants for the farm...I found it one time...just forgot it...Lynch


Dave    Posted 02-05-2003 at 06:16:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
I sent you an email.


Lynch    Posted 02-05-2003 at 02:37:02       [Reply]  [Send Email]
You got to do a little bit of everything...we sell eggs and fryers and broilers, and going to sell a calf or three a year, and a few litters of Border Collie pups a year, and going to start breeding a few hogs(litter or 2 a yr) and I have my own construction outfit and install windows , decks, siding, roofing,etc.($30K yr + lots of tax write offs), and sell birdhouses and custom dog houses w/ hand made metal roofs(I build super nice dog houses and make good money on them selling them for less than ones that aren't near as nice...every dog owner that sees my dog's house wants one), and the wife works outside the home for $30K yr., and we buy and sell all sorts of stuff as a hobby (make about $400 a month), mow pastures, and starting to grow hybrid willow, poplar and pine trees for the local mills, and sell seedlings and saplings and cuttings, and sell rich-lighter from pine stumps for fire starter, and most of all... we don't waste a bunch of money on eating out at the local diners or shopping for crap that you don't need. And all this 50% disabled...it's a question of how bad you want your place in the world, and how much you are willing to do, and to sacrifice, to keep it. I do at least 3 different things a day, 7 days a week, to make money....always have plenty of food and rarely worry about money.(and I have not filed for disability...and I could get it easy) We are gonna be ready for anything that comes at us...our goal is to be happy and be as self-sufficient as we can be. Lynch

P.S. ANOTHER GOOD TIP IS TO GROW SOMETHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY THAT IS IN DEMAND...I KNOW A GUY THAT WASN'T DOING WELL WITH VEGGIES AND SWITCHED TO THE FLOWERS THAT PRODUCE SAFFRON, AND NOW HE IS SUPPLYING A BUNCH OF SUPER EXPENSIVE RESTAURANTS WITH THE HIGH DOLLAR SPICE. ALL IT TAKES IS A PLAN AND SOME COMMON SENSE AND HARD WORK.


Lynch...Not sure about...    Posted 02-05-2003 at 02:43:39       [Reply]  [Send Email]
...horses being such a great idea...bank account-draining-poop-machines.


Ludwig    Posted 02-05-2003 at 08:27:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
The way to make money on horses is to stable 'em for people what have too much money on their hands, but DON'T plan on having your own. Some friends did that when I was little. The stabling business paid for them to have 4 horses of their own. Thats 10 horses stabled to pay for their 4!
They said that if they didn't have their 4 horses the others would have paid about all the bills...


kathy in illinois    Posted 02-05-2003 at 08:07:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
bank account training poop machines---I LOVE IT. My fiancee had a horse for his daughter...said it was like having a pet dinosaur in the back yard.

Kathy


Salmoneye    Posted 02-05-2003 at 03:47:17       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I agree with your take on horses Lynch...I know that lots of people are very attached to them, but here you can always tell who has more money than they know what to do with by the horses penned on their acre and a half...

Walkers...as long as you are breeding for sale and not to keep...Should bring at least some income after initial investment is paid for and you factor in feed, stud fee, etc...

I know a guy here that does 'Organic' Garlic...has maybe a half acre and does some good money...A couple people here do U-Pick sunflowers...At $1 a piece, they add up quick...Others here do U-Pick sweet corn, U-Pick Pumpkins, U-Cut Christmas Trees, etc...Other local 'crops' are St Johns Wort and Echinacea...


Lynch in E.TX    Posted 02-05-2003 at 06:45:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Father-in-law thinks I'm nuts or something...I tell him something new I am starting and he says, "What are you gonna change to doing know? Are you going to make up your mind on what it is you want to do?" He just can't seem to grasp the idea that I am doing them all at the same time...took him a month to believe me that I was making good extra money on the computer...my wife finally showed him a stack of checks from selling a bunch of odds and ends...and even though we have log trucks going thru town all day everyday, he thinks that logs and trees are worthless...I told him that they sure must waste alot of money driving them around then. He's 75, and can't figure out how I can grow trees or cut trees and make extra money while doing something else too. Wouldn't own a horse unless they outlawed pick-ups...and even then I'd be an outlaw and drive my truck. A bunch of the friends I grew up with had horses, and the money was ALWAYS going out, and NEVER coming in. Another big new cash crop being grown for big profit in Oregon is some new kind of grain or rice type of stuff...forgot what they call it, but a few guys started to really make good money on it in the last few years, instead of the traditional things...I'll think of it...I'm all set up with a gal from the Texas Dept. of Forest Service...Biomass is a big thing now...just growing trees for feed and hog fuel(steam driven engines or burners at elec. generator facilities....they have hybrid willow that grows over 10 feet a year...and my gal from the Forest service helps me with cost breakdowns and sales info...all for free...you can grow over 2000 hybrid poplar or willow trees per acre, and in 3 - 5 years they go to market for paper or fuel or this biomass stuff...wait 10 years on the poplar and it's furniture grade lumber worth lots more....but over 2000 trees per acre X $5 bucks a tree is good money, and once you get started you can have a crop of them every year. Five acres can pay you up to 50 or $60K every time you cut it, and some of the trees don't have to be replanted...they come back up from the stump...all you have to do is plant them in good ground and watch them grow if you have good rainfall...which we do in E. TX.


Jimbob    Posted 02-05-2003 at 08:37:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
I know little about farming & feeding ourselves yet...however even I know a horse has no place on my new start-up farm. Plus, a horse can hurt one big time if you do not know what you are doing. I'll stick to my tractor for work & truck for transportation. Nothing against horse lovers here!


Salmoneye    Posted 02-04-2003 at 15:51:04       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Where are you...How much land...How much tillable...How much to woods and what types of trees do you have...

Might be able to give you ideas if we had more info...


TB    Posted 02-04-2003 at 17:28:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
And what crops are planted


TB    Posted 02-04-2003 at 17:25:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
And what crops are planted


Jimbob    Posted 02-04-2003 at 20:28:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
The quickest money I ever made is selling on eBay. Even some buying & reselling on eBay. If you know your market such as antiques, for example, you can make $2K+ a month- no problem. There is so many people with extra money, I believe one could sell a Buffalo 'dropping' if you add enough discription & pictures.

Fast money can also be made babysitting for busy, working parents. Lot of responcibility & rattled nerves if one is hyper themselves. Most all states require a license.

Make money selling firewood in the larger cities for the city folks with a fireplace. Even more money for places like Dallas, Tx. (No trees).

Prepaid Legal (PPL). An interesting prepaid legal deal with healthy profits due to a pyramid type arrangement. Lets face it folks, every business is a form of a pyramid. Just make sure your market area is not saturated. It is like prepaid 'Blue Cross', only legal services is provided with the most powerful lawyers in your state. The key is to get 10 to 20 people also selling the service. I know a person who makes $7K a month & hardly works anymore after 18 months.

Good luck, hold on to that farm- darn it!


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