Doesn't anyone want to trying farming anymore?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pegasuslanding, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. pegasuslanding

    pegasuslanding Member

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    We have a small farm in Maryland that has been for sale for some time now. We are getting frustrated because 90% of people who come for a showing really just want a big yard to mow. They don't even want to look in the barn or walk the property. Doesn't anyone want to do something with farm animals anymore? People actually come to look at the house in dress shoes and high heels. Not real good for walking though the barns, etc.

    We raise boer goats and sold hay this past year. We are very small, but we have enjoyed the lifestyle so much we would like to farm full time and are planning a move to Missouri where we can afford a couple hundred acres.

    Is farming just going to die out in places like Maryland because it has become so suburban?! :(
     
  2. I think yes Maryland is like many other suburban places. Your place will become a housing development most likely!

    They'll be sorry one of these days for not having donned rubber boots and learned how to grow their own food....and you'll be a happy farmer with lots of land and food!

    The bottom line for them is a joke and mostly fabricated lies (the stock market) and diseased food is what they are living (or should I say dieing) on. And they are such fools for not noticing.
     

  3. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Afraid yuppies are only people with money or credit to buy hyper inflated land anymore unless its somebody that owned and sold another piece of hyper inflated land and just wants to move. The only kinds of farming that pay anymore without huge amounts of land and government subsidies are the very intensive specialty operations such as truck farm and if I were looking to start truck farm, location would be top priority over everything else.
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hermit is right. The thing farmers do is out of reach price wise for all but a very few. Farming 200 acres of grain or hay crops would do well to break even. The cost of equipment to farm a little farm of that size would be way more than the opperation would generate in income. It takes a speciaity of some kind to make a large income per acre. Truck farming takes a enormous amount of labor, but can be very profitable. To raise vegtables, deep top soil is more important than having a large acerage. Two people could work themselves to death on a 20 acre garden farm. Living near a good sized urban area gives a gardener a head start on sales.
     
  5. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Can you advertize your land at the local Farmers Markets? Or, at any place ELSE where people gather who raise high-income crops?

    MOST people who want to farm are probably ALSO going to Missouri! But, if you ARE close to a Metro area you may be well located for a pick-your-own, or for vegetables.
     
  6. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    The 50 acres I bought was on the market for 2 years before we found it. No other offers till we made one then there was 2 backup offers. It was listed for 260k and we paid much less.

    mikell
     
  7. GaitedRider

    GaitedRider Member

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    I would love to own a small farm but we can not afford the going prices on farms. My husband makes good money as a building engineer (He keeps high rises up and running.) so we have to live close enough to a good sized city for him to work. I want to stay at home with the kids and want him to be able to retire someday so we can't afford the mortgage and I refuse to pay more than 25% of our monthly income on a house payment.
     
  8. pegasuslanding

    pegasuslanding Member

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    You could not make a "living" on our property. It is just too small. Most people around here also have a full-time job and farm the land. There are several "truck farms" and "pick your own" farms in the general area. One down the road with at least 80 acres turned from vegetables to xmas trees because the vegatables were just too labor intensive. We will mostly likely end up selling to someone who wants "rural living", but prefers to use the barn for an artist studio or a motorcycle shop. The land will turn "residential" instead of "ag" like it is now. Oh well, I am just really sad to see a farm that's been here more than 100 years go away. And we worked so hard restoring the house and outbuildings. :waa:
     
  9. Kirk

    Kirk Well-Known Member

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    Pegasuslanding,
    Are you sure you can't make a living on your land? If you have a couple acres or more and ingenuity I bet you could do quite well. First step is figuring out what you really need to make as a living, what can you do without, where can you economize? Next is figuring out what will make you money. Not just one thing but dozens of small incomes. Find posts on here by Shrek and Ken Schrarbeck (sp). They both have tons of ideas for making money. Good luck with it.
    Kirk
     
  10. Annie in S.E. Ohio

    Annie in S.E. Ohio Active Member

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    Try advertising your farm as horse property, if your fencing is sound and you have at least an acre or so fenced in, if you have horse sized barns, even better! You say you produce hay, do you have enough hay field for horse use? Even 2 acres of hayfield can produce alot of hay for its horse people owners.

    Depending on where you are in MD your property should sell easily as horse property on todays market, there are tons of folks who love to keep a horse or two at home, even if they work full time off the farm.
     
  11. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    My DH and I want to Farm, but when we were looking for land. Well, lets just say we could not find any land priced so we can make enough money on it to pay for having it. Most good land was prices so builder would buy it.

    We were looking to do different things, just in case something did not go well one year. Would go all Ceritifed organic, maybe do a co-op.
    Fruit Trees
    Veggie & Herb gardens
    Few Steers
    Chicken and Ducks.

    Now we will be back to looking if DH can't find another job by May.
     
  12. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

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    The bottom line is that there is no real profit in farming or livestock raising
    today. Everything connected to it is priced out of sight for those starting out.

    Today it is not much more than a fun time hobby !

    Making a real Profit in any kind of business is slim to none.

    Farming and livestock raising is close to the bottom in profit making.

    You can spend less time working at any kind job paying minimum wages with no benefits, and make way more than most people make on any small farm.

    The biggest mistake is not learning how to do things right before you start from the people who do make a profit.

    To many People go out and pay to much for a beautiful place they do not need and buy livestock that they do not know how to take care of properly.

    First they loose livestock that die, because they think that they are so easy to take care of. Wrong ! ! !

    Then they realize they don't make enough profit to pay for the place they bought and they loose it.

    They go bankrupt or work harder than before, trying to pay for a place that will not pay for it self and they can't afford to pay for either.

    And now they are miserable ! ! !


    bumpus
     
  13. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Bumpus! How positively.....CHEERFULL!

    Actually, I HAVE known people who made profits with livestock!

    (Unless, of course, you figured per-hour returns and compared it with a paying job!)

    People who make it in farming are like LOTS of small businesses. The owner puts in very long hours if he wants to make a very modest living. And, like any OTHER new business, you need some luck to go with that hard work.

    But I have known people who made it work.
     
  14. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of it has to do with greed and sheeplehood. Greed by the persons selling (trying to charge top dollar for property that may/may not be usable, not saying this is what you're doing, just what I think goes on a lot).

    People are so tied up in the Material and instant gratification of the modern world they don't want or even begin to understand how to go about doing farm work.

    Then there are those that have the ability and desire but no money to pay the high rates that are being charged.


    Very frustrating I know. I wish I was in a position to purchase a small farm. I'm not really interested in profit. I would like to pay for the farm outright. work maybe 2 mths a year off the farm to pay the taxes etc. and raise enough food, etc to be 90% self sufficient.
     
  15. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

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    It's expensive to try and farm in Md. We're out near the PA state line and 75 acres with a house is $850,000. Everything is being snatched up by developers. Now we're looking at 5-10 acres with a small house which is 250-400k. The state and county will offer some help if you give them easement rights so you can't every subdivide.

    Of course, everyone we've mentioned farming to looks at us like we're nuts. Md is a good location for pasture raised and organic farming. Lots of people with lots of money willing to to pay for someone else to do the work.

    Where abouts in MD is your farm. We may be very interested.
     
  16. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    What are the specs. and what is the asking price, pegasus?



    And Bumpus-you're right...no one makes money farming using the old bass-ackward conventional big-input/low-margin paradigm. We do it small scale, specialized, and natural-and we pulled a tidy profit our first year in. It's not rocket science, but it's not your old school ag either.
     
  17. Where are you? We're looking in Carroll, Frederick, maybe Baltimore or Washington if the price was right. But everything here is just so expensive. We've expanded our search to Pa to see if there is something more affordable there.

    It's a tradeoff though. This part of Maryland has easy access to Washington and Baltimore, two big markets for whatever products you decide to market. So I guess you pay a premium for that.
     
  18. horselogger

    horselogger Well-Known Member

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    Can't make a profit farming????? What a bunch of city bred bovine scattology!!!!Have none of you ever heard of the Amish??Tell me that the land in Lancaster county isn't some of the most expensive land in the country. BUt lets forget them for a moment. Have you ever thought of renting a small piece of property to farm?Oh people...... I would strongly reccomend the Small Farmers Journal out of Sisters Oregon.... No ,you will never be able to live the American dream ...spelled nightmare,but if you dedicate yourself to a way of life,where food and animals are important,where self sufficiency is critical,then you will make it ...Poverty ,if it is intentional,can be a godsend. Most importantly;get your butt off of this damn machine,quit bitching and do something. WE can all do more than we are, as evidenced by the time spent on this thing!!!!! By the way,I am a year and a half from a Phd From one of the best Universities in the US> Iwalked away,have never looked back,b ecause I wanted to live life Honestly. Have worked horses in the timber and timber products since I was 13... am Starting to farm in Montana topsoil,which is anything less than six inches in diameter........Live on the side of a mountain in a 16by 16 cabin ,coleman for light,simple,simple simple......don't tell me it cant be done.....just that most people aren't willing to pay the costs!!!(And money is the least of it!!!!) Lee
     
  19. Jane in southwest WI

    Jane in southwest WI Well-Known Member

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    It makes me sick when I hear how housing developers are buying up all the farmland and putting up houses. That can't continue. There is a housing bubble and like all bubbles it will burst.

    My husband and I own farmland (147 acres, half tillable) but we are renting it out. I work a full time job (telecommuting) as a technical writer. I would love to be able to someday do some kind of farming myself, but as others have pointed out it's near to impossible to make a living at, and the equipment is too expensive (we don't even own a tractor yet, and we need one).

    However I don't want to give up my dream yet, because I love the country life style and I have strong beliefs in sustainable agriculture. Until I see a way to transition to it, I think our best bet is to keep renting out to the farmer doing conventional farming. He is farming hundreds of acres and since he is doing it on a relatively large scale he must be doing okay.
     
  20. pegasuslanding

    pegasuslanding Member

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    We are in northern Carroll County. There are still quite a few large farms around here passed down through families. That is why we moved here. Many are in preservation (including the 200 acres surrounding us), but our property is too small for the program.

    I think you could make some nice money on vegetables/flowers, etc. The property is open and pretty flat. You could maybe team up with a co-op in the next county that sells to Washington, DC. I just don't have the "green thumb" for that. I am better with animals. Again you could make nice money with "show" animals, but I don't have the time to attend shows. I just sell for my boer goats for meat and commercial breeding.

    It is a great set-up for horses and I have had some myself. The last owner was a breeder and I have shown the house to some "horse people", but no luck yet. At our current price we are practically giving the house away compared to other properties in the area, but we are anxious to get to Missouri. And yes the prices are definately higher here than the midwest, etc. We are going to give someone a "bargain". I just hope they appreciate the land as it is.

    If you would like more info on the house you can email me. Thanks everyone for letting me do a little whinning. I alway enjoy reading the advice on this board.