Starting Farm Questions

woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
didnt tick me off, i just find it funny and odd on here that sooooooooo many people on here always question stuff on here. Its kinda like they are know it alls of wanna be know it alls. thats all.


not at all a "know it all" nor a "wannabe" anything,,, never said nor alluded to that

just a fact,,, man was curious as to what company it was since so many others struggle,,,

but hey, I get it,, ya don't know ecuse me for calling that "hearsay",,, we'll just leave it at "trade secret"- sorry for the intrusion
 

brownisdown

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
The easiest way to make a small fortune these days farming is to start with a big fortune. We make money in the hay business but we cater to a niche market with the best product locally and we do it on a pretty big scale for a hay farm. That said I still have a full time job other than that one. Equipment costs have skyrocketed. My dad started in 1992 with nothing and in the last 30 years we have built the business and grown slowly to where we are now and been blessed along the way. It's hard work and it has to turn a real profit or it's just a hobby and I don't work 16 plus hour days for a hobby.
 

bwfarms

Old Mossy Horns
I don’t know a wide swath of alternative farmers in the Siler City area. The ones I’m aware of did buy land to grow hemp and they failed due to lacking access to market or crop destroyed for excess THC levels. Another was getting his crop stolen a lot.

Interestingly a Hemp middle man had their office located in a butcher facility, don’t know if it’s still in operation.
 

timber

Twelve Pointer
The only folks I know making money on hemp are the ones selling seedling plants to the farmers.


I have seen the same thing around here. A few tryed growing it but ended up being nothing but a tax write off. Only one I know that was making some money opened a store and was marketing the finished product. Know of one back few years ago when raising it first got popular had a barn full of it that couldn’t sell. Well he could have gave it away but said it sit there and rot before he did that
 

KrisB

Ten Pointer
Honestly, let’s face it, most of the “farm to table” movement is, is capitalizing on others ignorance of agriculture and your basically taking advantage of their ignorance, or in some cases, stupidity by over charging for something us “country folk” have done or are our whole life.

Classic example without getting on a soapbox: I could go to downtown Knoxville and set up at the farmers market and charge a premium by selling “non GMO” popcorn. News flash, there’s no such thing as “GMO” popcorn. It simply does not exist. Now, my question is, do you truly advocate agriculture and education and inform your consumers of this? Or do you simply go about your business of extreme overcharging for a item simply because your consumer is clueless???
Very true. The farm I'm on sells chicken eggs for $8 and whole chicken for $32 at the Seattle farmers' markets. And the city people pay it. On the other hand, the cost of alfalfa to feed the dairy goats is crazy right now ($28/bale right now, if I remember correctly), so now we are feeding them local hay that is not as good as the alfalfa, but only costs $7/bale. We sell the raw goats' milk (it's legal to sell it in WA) for $4 for a pint, $6 for a quart, and $10 for a half gallon. But the raw milk doesn't bring in any near as much money as the eggs and chicken meat.
 

KrisB

Ten Pointer
good luck out there, WA and OR are slowly becoming CA....got a step bro in richland that works at the nuclear plant there and he says it's becoming a craphole out there.....
Wow. I didn't know it was getting like that in eastern WA!
 

bwfarms

Old Mossy Horns
What do people say about it? First time I've ever been in a state where it's legal.

AntiTobacco culture war, the push for banning or make it taboo to smoke in public spaces. Heavily pushed by progressives citing health issues etc. Essentially it’s the same group that has made a reversal but now it’s the allowance of marijuana secondhand smoke.
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I would be interested to know what farm. Everyone I’ve talked to who got into the hemp business has lost their tail. The only ones I’ve heard of making bank are the few that grow clones for resale or have their own processing facilities. Even the ones with their own processing facilities needed to have some direct access to consumers
Probably the ‘other’ hemp. 😂
 

agsnchunt

Twelve Pointer
If I was trying to farm goats, I would get a job near a place with money - urban or resort. I would look to buy or rent a house with small acreage, ability to raise livestock, and serviceable fencing and buildings.

I would consider starting with a small flock, maybe just a single billy and a couple nannies. This would give you time to settle into work, the place, and do a little goat-herding on the side. You could also begin to develop your processes for dairy, meat, etc. One thing to consider for processing is some areas have publicly available commercial kitchens via community college food programs where you can gain access to machinery and expertise.

Within a couple of years you'll have been through reproductive cycles, developed recipes and understanding of the food processing challenges, and gained and idea of the economics in your locale.

It would surely benefit you to find a local rancher of any sort to give you advice as you go along. You might even find someone that lets you work part time for them.

I say try it. You'll be glad you did.
 

Hunterreed

Ten Pointer
My wife helped a professional chef for a few months that used all organic, natural products. Because of the pandemic this lady could no longer cook at her customers homes and leased the commercial kitchen space at our church and delivered the meals. The chef would spend a full day or more sourcing all these products from various farms,vendors, markets before the days my wife actually was called to help prep. If someone was to have a one stop shop or farm for at least 50% of the produce,herbs, pasture raised chickens, eggs etc. for specialty services like that it would be very successful
 

YanceyGreenhorn

Still Not a Moderator
If you had any interest in being involved with something somewhat niche, I can put you in contact with my buddy that manages a pepper farm in WNC. If you’re still interested in traveling and trying different aspects of farming, he would 100% hire you for harvest season. Although you’d learn more starting at the beginning of growing season and doing irrigation, transplanting seedlings, etc. The owner started it as a hobby to make his own hot sauce and it has transformed into his full time business. They also have the kitchen side of things where the peppers are processed for the sauces.
 

DRS

Old Mossy Horns
Small farmers have to find a niche. This usually means finding a population that has more money than sense. The west coast and a few states on the east coast including NC would be a good start. Generally, you can look at an election map and choose a blue area to market a product.
 

bwfarms

Old Mossy Horns
Small farmers have to find a niche. This usually means finding a population that has more money than sense.

This is a common statement I come across. One of the imbalances I see in society where priorities are misguided. People are eager to spend more for non essentials and expect essentials to be cheap. The same people that want more money for their own product or service but expect someone else’s to be cheaper.

It always ends up that the farmer is viewed as the bottom of the societal hierarchy. Despite campaigns of ‘if you ate today, thank a farmer’ it truly is a thankless profession. When a farmer markets their product at a price more than the grocery store, a large part of society calls the farmer greedy or the customer stupid.

Why not change your attitudes? Support your local farmers. Don’t just say it, Do it. These farmers have been supporting everyone’s price increases, it’s about time they are repaid in kind.
 

Rescue44

Old Mossy Horns
I know several who grew hemp. The 1st year, on about 3 acres, one guy did well in the end. The field was beside his house as well as neighbors. When the stealing started, thieves were in the middle of the field at night, the farmer shot a few times making noise. The 2nd night, he fired and someone in the field fired. Those stupid idiots take stupidity to another level. Several "high speed pursuits", more gunfire, abandoned vehicle, etc. Farmer claimed he should have gotten more done by LE. His 2nd crop, and his farming neighbor's 1st crop, molded in the barn. It was dried while hanging, but was in the barn too long. Another farmer grew the max acreage he could the 1st year..20 or 40 acres. 2nd crop was maxed to 60 or 80 acres. He told me what he would probably get money wise. Then heard later he wasn't able to sell either crop. No buyer. That is a lot of money to burn, based on production cost per acre!! I seriously thought about trying a couple of acres, planted in the middle of a corn field, but gladly decided against it.
 

JoeSam1975

Ten Pointer
Contributor
I would be interested to know what farm. Everyone I’ve talked to who got into the hemp business has lost their tail. The only ones I’ve heard of making bank are the few that grow clones for resale or have their own processing facilities. Even the ones with their own processing facilities needed to have some direct access to consumers
Me too. The farmer that tends our lease lost his butt 2 years ago!!
 

NCbowjunkie

Eight Pointer
Very true. The farm I'm on sells chicken eggs for $8 and whole chicken for $32 at the Seattle farmers' markets. And the city people pay it. On the other hand, the cost of alfalfa to feed the dairy goats is crazy right now ($28/bale right now, if I remember correctly), so now we are feeding them local hay that is not as good as the alfalfa, but only costs $7/bale. We sell the raw goats' milk (it's legal to sell it in WA) for $4 for a pint, $6 for a quart, and $10 for a half gallon. But the raw milk doesn't bring in any near as much money as the eggs and chicken meat.
Don’t know if this helps but the American Dairy Goat association is in spindale ( Rutherford county) NC. Not very far from Asheville where you could set up sales
 

thelivecanary

Eight Pointer
@KrisB I've thought a ton about this and read more books and done more economic studies on my home laptop than I am comfortable stating, that said you either want it, at all costs, or you don't. There's no middle when you have a passion for something. You don't need a "huge" city market if you don't have a ton of product to start. You can always get bigger and grow your product lines but start with something manageable. Heck add a product line to the current place you're working at. Tell them you'll invest your hard earned dollars for something like....rabbits....and do two seasons of expanding a rabbit market. Make it manageable and if it's profitable you just found a market, in a place you want to live, and you can build it on their land. (It's just a thought experiment, it don't have to be rabbits, it could be Guinee pigs, especially if there's folks in that town, from regions that eat Guinee pigs.

My aunt built a profitable rabbit fur market out of her basement. With the internet, there's no market you can't reach, so think outside the acre.

Just some ideas for you to ponder, hope it helps. Good luck and follow the passion.

Oh last note, the PNW has really good water and it's fairly cheap, and relatively cheap electricity so you can move that water very cost effectively. Aqua-Farming, Aquaculture, Aquaponics are all very viable. Heck you could be the best fresh water clam farmer with nothing more than a basement haha. (Actually, I haven't seen farmed freshwater clams before.....hmmmm.)
 

ol bob

Six Pointer
Like bowjunkie sad if you couldn't make it in Asheville N.C., you want make it any where in the U.S. That town is full of 100% nut cases.
 

YanceyGreenhorn

Still Not a Moderator
Kris, if I remember correctly , you’re a person of Jewish faith(?). Have you ever considered trying to get a foot in the door of the shtreimel market? Those beaver fur hats that the Orthodox Jews wear are high dollar items . Even if you sold a couple a month, it could help fund other endeavors. And you might not have as much trouble making connections as a lowly gentile like myself would
 

KrisB

Ten Pointer
Kris, if I remember correctly , you’re a person of Jewish faith(?). Have you ever considered trying to get a foot in the door of the shtreimel market? Those beaver fur hats that the Orthodox Jews wear are high dollar items . Even if you sold a couple a month, it could help fund other endeavors. And you might not have as much trouble making connections as a lowly gentile like myself would
The thought has crossed my mind, but I've never thought about it seriously. Israel just banned fur imports in 2021, the only exception being beaver furs for the shtreimel market. It's not a bad idea though. I could ask around about it, at least see if it's possible. There are big Hasidic communities in NY and elsewhere in the US, as well as Israel. But I don't think they care about getting furs from non-Jewish people, as long as they're quality furs. I'll ask though. Thank you!
 
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