Looking back at my journey and how I ventured into farming, I wish I could have consulted with more farmers and have done more planning and preparation into what I was getting myself into. Having learnt from some of my mistakes, I thought that I would share some important facts about farming that I think you should know, before quitting your job to become a farmer.
Know your WHY
Firstly, it’s important to know WHY you want to start farming and if you can’t answer that question, then stick to your 9-5. Seriously. At the end of the day, farming is a business and I’ve seen people go into farming because land and funding was made available to them and they thought that they would make a success of it when they had no initial plan in the beginning. Be honest with yourself and invest your time and energy into something you have a passion for, and if it happens to be farming, then so be it.
You have to be mentally fit.
If you easily become frustrated over small things and tend to quit when the going gets tough, then this is not the industry for you. Farmers are resilient and some may say that the resilience is built over time, however, I believe that you have to have some level of resilience within you before you decide to become a farmer because your character will get tested in ways that you could not imagine.
I will never get tired of saying this, you have to be hands-on as a farmer. Established farmers that I know, are still very active in their businesses today. They know what goes on in their farms at every level of their production and no employee can tell them otherwise. They have worked hard and paid their dues to what many will see as a well-run farm and business today.
It takes time to realise the money.
If you think farming is a “get rich quick scheme” then I will be the first to disappoint you and tell that it’s not. It takes time (months or years) to realise the return on your investment depending on what field you are in. Therefore, don’t be in a rush to make money fast, do things right the first time, without cutting corners and you shall be rewarded.
Farming is not cheap.
The capital outlay to starting a farm comes at a hefty price, but there are ways to working around this, especially on things such as infrastructure and equipment for example. Not everything can be solved using the DIY approach and there are certain aspects in this business that one cannot compromise on for the sake of saving money.
So, before quitting your job to start farming, have a plan in place that will ensure the success of your farm. Speak to other farmers and do as much research as possible. Farming can be rewarding on so many levels and I wish you nothing but the best for your journey.