When you’re embarking on planning to own your own business, there are many things for you to consider. One of the big things is what kind of business are you going to own? For some people, they’re facing the idea of maintaining their family legacies on property that’s been passed down from generation to generation as the family made their living in traditional agricultural ways like raising crops or livestock. For so many, they need to find new ways of generating agricultural income without losing their family farms. That’s where some more modern ideas can be applied.
The idea of doing things the way they’ve been done by previous generations is prevalent in agricultural families. It has merit, too. However, if what your ancestors have done is no longer providing a stable income for your family, it’s time to think of ways to either improve the process or change the outcome. There are grant programs and agricultural loans available for you to reach your goals. There are also many state and local agencies to help you figure out how you can tweak or completely change what you’re doing so you earn a better profit.
There are family farms who are finding success in selling shares of their family agricultural ‘corporation’ to outsiders to raise capital. Some farmers have been able to purchase those shares back during more lucrative years; other farmers are being forced to sell their land by their shareholders. You’ll need to be careful to word your contracts with your shareholders to ensure you can’t be forced into an outcome that’s unacceptable to you. Other farmers are installing solar panels or solar shingles on the roofs of their barns and buildings to generate income. Still others are looking towards new ideas in farming like collecting your livestock droppings and processing them as fertilizer for sale. Vermicomposting outfits are generating money from that very rich fertilizer, also.
Some family farms are thriving by switching to providing organic products. Community supported agriculture or CSA farms are popping up all over due to people’s concern over chemicals and fair-trade produced products. The general idea behind a CSA is that a local farm grows a variety of crops for the entire growing season and people purchase “shares” of that crop. Each week, or every other week depending on what kind of share the customer buys, the farm provides a box of fresh vegetables and fruits to each shareholder. The crop depends on what’s ready for harvest.
The agricultural business moves with the times as it honors the legacy of the family farm.