Starting a small farm sounds exciting for an aspiring farmer who is dreaming of operating one of his own. But it’s no secret that starting a farm is no easy task. It takes patience and perseverance to maintain one.
For a beginner, starting a small farm can be a little overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to go through the process one step at a time.
If you’re an aspiring farmer planning to start a farm for his own, then it pays to cover the basics first before jumping into making major actions.
Here are the things you need to know about starting a small farm.
Defining small farms
According to the United States Department of Agriculture or USDA, a small farm is a farm that grows and sells less than $250,00.
In California alone, about 86% of all farms are categorized as small farms. It just goes to show that small-scale farming also contributes very well to the agriculture industry.
Small farms aren’t strictly based on acreage and profit. Farmers who maintain farms that are outside the mainstream agriculture are also considered small farms.
Some of them are hobby farms, niche farms, urban farms, and some others. Conveniently, there are specific financing options that serve these special farm types.Interested? Get matched with our trusted lenders.
Create a plan
Now that you’ve established what small farms are all about, you’re now ready for the next step. Creating a business plan for your farm is something you shouldn’t wait out.
Before you go and apply for farm financing or scoping for arable land as your farm, you need to strategically plan out what you should do and what you should prepare from here on out.
Determine what you want to grow in your farm. You’re going to have to be specific about this since it helps you create a feasible projected budget and would help you when you get a loan to finance your farm.
Other than that, you can turn to get advice from farming experts or seasoned farmers to guide you as you move forward. For farm financing, you can consult the USDA to seek options for a farm loan or give you a breakdown on what to prepare in order to qualify.
Find the right loan
There are several options for small farmers. Thanks to the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), many aspiring farmers are one step closer to achieving their farm goals.
First, they offer microloans. These are loans that support beginner farmers and ranchers to get financial assistance during their start-up years.
The Direct Farm Ownership Microloans can be used to cover down payment costs as well as repairs and improvements for your farm, service buildings and farm dwellings.
On the other hand, Direct Farm Operating Microloans can be used to cover essential tools, equipment, and other acceptable operating costs.
Other than microloans, there are also specific financing options for a targeted audience. For example, there are Youth Loans that serves as an answer to the FSA’s goal to encourage the young and aspiring farmers to start building their dream of starting and operating their own farms.
There are also targeted farming loans for the minority as well as women farmers and ranchers. Thanks to this initiative, it opens up equal possibilities and opportunities for all.Talk to our lenders about USDA loans.