Wednesday, November 4, 2009
A second job
Custom farming is just one of many of the other enterprises farmers choose
A good majority of farmers have a second ag-related enterprise, and there’s little limit on the imagination people bring to these enterprises, according to a recent Agriculture Online poll. Only 21% of the nearly 300 farmers taking the survey said they don’t have another enterprise besides the farm.
The most popular selections were seed production and sales (15%) and custom farming (12%). Other enterprises on the list included trucking, machinery repair, land contracting, and farm management.
In farmer comments in the poll, the rainbow of ventures possible for people farming the land is seen to be even more diverse, ranging from parting out combines to selling crop insurance.
Many of these second jobs are highly entrepreneurial. A Michigan farmer has set up home-based, USDA inspected meat processing business (http://www.johnhenrys.net/). A Nebraskan has used his past experience in the financial management industry to develop a successful business specializing in agricultural software for farmers (http://www.agmis.com). A Maryland farmer is an hunting outfitter. “Pays better than crops per acre, but you have to deal with the public,” he writes.
Probably my favorite enterprise that turned up in the survey: Operating a mini donut trailer. "Feeding the world in more ways than one,” says the Minnesota farmer. Yum to that.
Posted by John Walter at 12:33 PM