Most people don’t go into farming to get rich. That doesn’t mean farmers wouldn’t like to be able to make a healthy living and not worry about shrinking profit margins year after year. In fact, in order to stay afloat financially, many farmers take second jobs to make ends meet.
While most farmers who work a second job must go off their farm to find that extra income, there are other options. It just takes a little creativity. Today, many farmers are taking advantage of their land and agricultural experience to create an agricultural business that complements their current farming operation.
What follows are some non-traditional businesses that are cropping up on farms across the country:
Pick Your Own Produce: Today’s consumers want to know where their food comes from and that it is as fresh as possible. This has led many farmers to open their farms to people who want to pick their own fruits and vegetables. One added benefit of such an operation is that the labor required at harvest time is drastically reduced. Your customers literally do the work for you.
Agricultural Tourism: Open your farmhouse doors to guests who want to experience what it is like on a real working farm. These types of beds and breakfasts are popping up all over the country and their popularity continues to grow. You can offer as few or as many activities as you like, including things like horseback riding, milking cows, planting and harvesting crops, and so much more. You can cater the experience to singles, couples or families.
Rental Property: Consider renting out your farm for things like weddings (farm-themed weddings are all the rage these days), company picnics, family reunions, bonfires and hay-rack rides. People and organizations are always looking for new and inviting places to gather and a farm is a great place to do just that.
Educational Workshops: Schools, daycares and other educational organizations are always on the lookout for field trips or other opportunities to teach their students or members about different ways of life. As a farmer, you can offer tours and classes on things like growing vegetables, raising backyard chickens or horseback riding. The ideas are as endless as your imagination.
Owning a farm means you are living a life many others want to experience. Capitalize on this and you may find yourself with a lucrative side business that can pay off big.