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Country Discussion Topics
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Im frustrated
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Luke    Posted 01-25-2004 at 21:32:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
what can you rase on 125 acers these days and suport a family.

VADAVE    Posted 01-26-2004 at 07:29:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
If you are excepting farming alone to pay all the bills for a family you are expecting too much! I don't know of a single individual that is making it on farming income alone--the wife's pay is buying the food and clothes. The problem is that the margin for farming is too thin and undependable! Cost of inputs as gone out of sight and the price paid for products has dropped. Add to that the attitude that farming is an 8 hour job and farming will not support a family by itself.

Ron,Ar    Posted 01-26-2004 at 05:30:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
There are folks here that built catfish farms on small tracts and made a living at it. The imports hurt them tho.

Ron/PA    Posted 01-26-2004 at 05:04:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well there's some folks doing it around here, but it isn't easy. Most of them are truck farming and selling produce at local markets. They also have greenhouses. Both of these are very labor intensive and will consume 20 hours a day. They also require a dedication that would make Mother Theresa cringe. Along with top notch business management, and frugal living. Most folks who try it, usually find working off the farm is alot easier and more profitable.

Dieselrider    Posted 01-26-2004 at 04:07:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
You could consider a veal operation and raise some beef stock on the side. Like the others have mentioned it's pretty difficult to find just one thing that's going to make you enough to keep your family on. It's not impossible but, you'll have to be a very good bussines manager and marketer and.... Alot will depend on what euipment you already have toward what you want to do or if you have to buy everything to start. I hope you find the secret though and share it back here with us. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Battleborn    Posted 01-26-2004 at 01:08:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
I can think of a few things...that will put you in prison :)
Seriously, there are people out there making money on small plots growing organic food, specialty crops like flowers and herbs, or show quality livestock sold as breeding animals. I don't know of any that live off of this type of production exclusively. Tourist traps, as Deadcarp mentioned (like Apple Hill, Ca.) do well, but they spend a lot on the traps themselves and they feed off each other - can't be done with one operation.

I started in the early 80's with a few good herefords and built it up. The problem is that you can't sell half your calves (the heifers) and you need a bull or the ability to do A.I. (Luckily I learned in college). I lost money for a long time, and I had the advantage of a family in the business and lots of borrowed equipment, as well as lots of personal experience. I don't think it could be done today even with these advantages.
I am surrounded by family operations run through 3 generations on spreads measured in sections, not acres. The new generation is bailing, for good reason. Feedlots and corporate farms are the rule of the day. My Grandpa was right when he said "times they are a-changin"
As I said before, hate to be a killjoy. You are probably going to need to be very successful at something else first, and farm later (or marry money).

deadcarp    Posted 01-25-2004 at 23:18:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
honest answer is - probably nuthin except some kind of a tourist trap. i've seen dude ranches and amusement parks smaller. i was raised on 220 acres in the 1950s and it got to where dad needed to work out then. theres always more money claimed for more exotic stock like meat rabbbits & emus but plenty of people have invested everything and raised a bunch only to find that the infrastructure is missing.

so it's not just a matter of nurturing critters - now you need to butcher, freeze, transport, generate a market and find buyers for something new and most farmers don't have access to the necessary machinery, free labor and fleets of refrigerated trucks they'd need to get the feed money back to their hands. what you're really doing is trying to start a small business, and 19 of 20 small businessmen don't make it thru the first year. watch around you and you'll see them selling out regularly. everything looks easy til you try it :)

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