question?--just getting my small farm going

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by myrandaandkids, May 15, 2006.

  1. myrandaandkids

    myrandaandkids Well-Known Member

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    minnsota
    does anyone know where i can get info on the next and nearest livestock auctions to me? where can i get more info on all the ins and outs of taxes on my farm and do i have to name my farm and if so is there some where i need to register it? i know these are probably dumb questions, but i have no idea what im doing here, lol, ive got my dream and no idea how to keep it going. so far we have 1 milking goat and a young doeling who will some day be a milker, 4 potbellied pigs, and........(thats it) so i need more, i would like to have alot more but have no clue where to find them as my local paper has no livestock section, and i dont know many people here and the owner at my feed store seems clueless,lol so anything you can give me is greatly appreciated. thanks
     
  2. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In Minnesota, you don't have to pay sales tax on many 'farm' items if you are using them in a 'for profit' farm operation. There is no particular place to register, nor do you need a farm name or any such thing.

    When you go to the feed or hardware store for purchases, most of them will ask you (or assume) you are using certain feed or fencing or such for farm use, & not charge the 7% or so sales tax. Or they will ask you if farm use or not, you say yes or no.

    I don't recall anyone ever being checked on about this, actually? It could happen tho I suppose, but if you file a schedule F for farm income & expenses, that is about all you will need should anyone ever come checking.

    Note that there is a _wide_ variation on what you can get exempted, what some places will & won't exempt, etc. It doesn't make real practical sense - typical of taxes. One time horse blocks of salt were on sale cheaper than cattle blocks (same thing - salt - just different brands) so I got the horse blocks. Whoops, tax on those, as horses are a hobby, not a livestock business. Etc. Makes no sense, just how it is.

    I'm sure many states are different, but here in Minnesota, that is how it's done. Likely you will need to sign up at the business; or sign a copy of each receipt for them saying you are indeed a farmer. I'm not sure of the enforcement of this, as it happens at the cash register not in front of tax people? Perhaps they pull a small % of the signed receipts every year & match up to Schedule F's at the state tax office?

    --->Paul
     

  3. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I'm surprised that the fellow at the feed store didn't know where the nearest livestock auction is -- try asking the agricultural extension agent. However, two things.

    1. Are you truly prepared for the animals you want to get? One of the biggest mistakes people make, and we've all done it, is getting in too big of a hurry to get animals, and bringing them home before their pens, pastures, and so on are actually finished.

    2. The auction may be cheap, but it is absolutely the worst place for a beginner to buy any animals. If you want healthy, sound stock, find reputable breeders. You will pay more for your animals (and the breeders deserve it, as they are seldom making much if anything on their animals, once they've fed them for a while), but you will be more assured of getting decent stock, and you will also have someone to call when you run into problems (and you will, everyone does).

    Kathleen
     
  4. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You really only have to be concerned with taxes/IRS/etc if you are generating the majority of your cash income from farm production sales. Sounds to me like you are aiming at feeding your family, not milking 50 goats and selling the milk to the local goat milk cannery. Your best bet is produce for you and your family as a way to lower your cash outgo at the store. IF you are going "big time" production of something your state Ag. Department has the forms and answers you need, but be prepared for LOTS of government regulation and interferrence and be prepared to lay out lots of cash $$ to meet their requirements. Best to stay small and for private consumption, in my opinion.
     
  5. EasyDay

    EasyDay Gimme a YAAAAY!

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    Livestock Auctions: Talk to the locals. They all know. But be careful. Many of the animals that go through the sale barn are someone else's culls (meaning someone doesn't want them for a reason!). Most people we know use the sale barn to SELL their unwanted animals, NOT to BUY their animals.
    I can't stress enough how important it is to talk to your neighbors, the guy at the feed store, the woman in the tack store, the guy at your local country store, etc. THEY know who has what for sale, and if they like you, they'll even put in a good word for you so you get a good deal. Some towns hold like a Saturday flea market where smaller animals are sold: chickens, goats, rabbits, etc.

    Oh, just realized you said the guy in the feed store is clueless. Without trying to sound crass, the guy at the feed store is NEVER clueless unless he a) just started working there, or b) he just "wants" to be. Maybe you didn't approach him in the right manner. Many country folk quickly become clueless when approached by someone "from off".

    Taxes: Your county tax assessor can answer all of your property tax questions.

    Naming your farm: There's no requirement to name your farm. But if you want to name it, go to your county courthouse. They can let you look up your proposed farm name to make sure someone else doesn't have it. If the name is available, they will assist you in filling out the required paperwork to register it.

    If you will have a business, you must have a business name... and that's where farm names come in if you want your business associated with your farm.
     
  6. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Forgot about the livestock auction part - where abouts are you in MN? I can help with south-centeral perhaps.

    As others say, unless you know what you are doing, be careful of the auctions. It is where folks take a few head to dispose of, not the best choice animals will be found there..... Can find good ones, and can find junk.

    For cattle, if you don't mind holstien, best to find a dairy near you & ask about buying a few male calves. That is often the best way to work it.

    Don't know much about other critters, they tend to be more 'underground' around Minnesota. You'll find plenty, but need to get in with the local groups that have them.

    --->Paul
     
  7. ihedrick

    ihedrick Can't stop thinkin'

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    It does take time to worl your way up to a sufficient little farm...I'm in the same boat. All I can say is start small! Read up on somethinglike chickens and then oder a few. maybe geta rabbit or two. Get used to the idea of taking care of animals. WHen moving on to bigger ones, maybe the 4_H office can help locate an animal. YOu could also contact a butcher and see if they will give you some numbers of people who bring in stuff.
    The auctions aren't a good place to start buying. Looking at different animals and qualities yes, but not for buying. When you compare them with ones you find for sale; you'll see a difference.
    Hang in there; your farm will grow soon enough before you even realize it. :dance:
     
  8. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    Where are you in MN? I'm right in the center, might be able to get you some info.
     
  9. RedTartan

    RedTartan Icelandic Sheep Supporter

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    All I know is you need some chickens!!!

    :) RedTartan
     
  10. myrandaandkids

    myrandaandkids Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    minnsota
    the info you all have given me is great, thanks, i have already bulit several pens and know lots about potbellied pigs, chickens, and alittle about milk goats, as i have 2 of those, but the rest is all foreighn to me,any way, thanks alot, oh and by the way for those of you who asked, i am in northern,mn Gheen to be exact.