You can be a profitable
small scale farmer!
By Khaiti French, Living the Dream Farm
One of my passions is motivating people to just get out there and live their dream. Life is so precious and so short- we need to take advantage of the chance we have to make it a great run. As you can tell, I’m pretty excited about this writing project and would LOVE to hear any feedback. One opinion I’d especially appreciate- in the title, should it say “successful” versus “profitable”? Also, if you have produced an ebook and want to share any tips or tricks, I am ALL EARS!
It’s kind of nervewracking to put this first rought draft of the Introduction out there, but here goes:
You can be a profitable small scale farmer!
By Khaiti French
So, you want to be a farmer? You have a Farm Dream…but what exactly is a Farm Dream?
The Farm Dream involves all of the good stuff when you think of a farm; growing all of your own food, getting away from it all, becoming as self-sufficient as possible, living in harmony with nature. For many of us, though, this Farm Dream evolves into more than just this homesteading lifestyle. You want to live it all the time and quit that stupid day job that pulls you away from the farm. You want to become a FARMER, and make your living from the land.
Pursue your Farm Dream and become a farmer! Our planet and our communities need you to! There is room for all to succeed, and I believe that if more small, diversified and sustainable farms are started and operated smartly, we’ll be able to feed our local communities, reduce the ecological impact of trucking food thousands of miles from farm to fork, the earth and all it’s flora and fauna will be more ethically cared for, and a whole bunch of people will have a satisfying career. A Win Win Win!
Farm Dreamers romanticize the life of a farmer and what their days must be like. What may not be immediately apparent though, is that farming is as much about running a business as it is about the lifestyle. If we tap into our Entrepreneurial Spirit, I believe anyone who desires to become a farmer can do just that. The “Farm Dream” affects all sorts of people from all walks of life: Permaculturists, retirees, Milennials, Stay at home dads, Preppers, soccer moms, Veterans, chefs, homesteaders, entrepreneurial tweens. No matter if you’ve been energized by the local food movement, want to help make a difference and heal the planet, want to quit your meaningless day job and be your own boss, or you just want to be reconnected with the land, we need more farmers in the world, and the lifestyle rewards for those that follow this calling are simply tremendous. No matter what’s inspired this desire, I am here to tell you that you can do it. But how do you actually become a farmer?
This book will explain how to start by following your passion to find the right product to produce, and then how to plan for your farm-based business to be successful for the long haul. My view is that if you are producing something that you are extremely and truly passionate about, you will succeed. What “succeeding” means is up to you, but in my book, it means being able to quit your day job.
The focus on the business part of starting a sustainable farm business is essential, but sorely lacking information for new and aspiring farmers. That’s precisely why I wrote this book. Farm Dreamers- are you prepared to work harder than you imagined possible, feel extreme pride and joy when tending your animals or plants, that immeasurable thrill when you make your first sale, to cry and pull your hair out with frustration, excitedly sit with a calculator figuring out business numbers over and over? Well, then you are ready to begin!
My name is Khaiti French, I’m 35 and I’m a farmer, made from scratch; I didn’t grow up in a farming family, I was called to farming as a result of my passion for food, independence and animal welfare. My husband Andrew and I have been self-employed on our Wisconsin farm since 2010. We offer a pastured meat CSA program with pigs, cattle, chickens, turkeys and geese, and we also specialize in our pastured duck eggs.
I started homesteading in 2004 with a garden and 2 milk goats, but soon my passion for raising animals ethically evolved into my calling; I wanted to become a real full time farmer. However, I didn’t know how to take that passion and make it into a career. Through years of trial and error, joys and triumphs, frustration and poverty, we’ve finally made it. Here I will present details and information from our experiences learning how to start and successfully run a farm business and help you translate your passion into a business. I know this passion that you Farm Dreamers feel, because that’s what got me to where I am today. Passion is an incredible tool for success, as long as it is properly directed and focused.
I want to help you make the transition from Farm Dreamer to Farmer. Many farming books are out there to inspire and inform you, but they tend to gloss over the important detail that most farm Dreamers don’t come from a farming background. They don’t know where to begin, how to actually start a farm based business, or how to carefully diversify a farm-based business without going crazy or broke. Smart and thoughtful planning, tailoring your Farm Dream to be a reflection of WHO you are and WHAT you are passionate about, is essential so that you can succeed, quit that day job and achieve your Farm Dream.
Chapter 1- First, whether you are still in the dreaming stage, or actively homesteading; we’ll begin by identifying what exactly your true passion is, what the resulting product(s) could be, as well as the potential market for that product.
Chapter 2- Second, we’ll look at Scale and Specializing, and examine the difference between Homesteading and Farming, which is essential for aspiring new farmers to understand.
Chapter 3- Third, we’ll plan for your marketing, which can make or break your Farm Dream. Marketing is both how you get your product into the consumers’ hands and how you perform marketing action, aka “branding.” If you don’t have a marketing plan, and a back up plan for selling your product, you are up against a steep road, no matter how amazing your product is, or how much it follows your passion. This is the most common downfall I see with new farmers. I did it myself, soon enough I had 17 goats with no focused plan for how to make a living from them.