Some farmers become too focused on their ideologies. New farmers, particularly those in urban areas and farmers using sustainable techniques , may focus all their energy on big world issues — environmental, economic or political. A global focus may cause them to miss small opportunities in front of them. They may get discouraged that their local actions are not having enough of a global impact.
These ideologies can also keep small farmers from working with others who may have a different point of view or approach. The established farmers and support network are critical supports for a new farmer getting an operation started.
Sell Direct to Build Capacity
Seek out the path of least resistance. Visit the local farmers’ markets to sell your produce as you get the hang of what you can grow and sell. You will grow your customer base and learn what they want to buy. By having a direct relationship with end consumers you will get valuable feedback and also not become overcommitted to large orders you may initially have difficulties filling.
Have the Right Equipment
Some farmers may not have the right equipment to get started.
Although bootstrapping can work well for hobby operations, farming on a a commercially viable scale requires capital. A huge sum is not needed to start a small farm, but farmers starting out will require basic equipment: a tractor, a seeder, walk-in cooler and perhaps other small machinery. Cheap solutions like trying to spread seed by hand, or trying to use consumer refrigerators can end in problems. The right equipment can make all the difference.
Focus on One Thing at a Time
Some small farmers try to take on too many things right from the beginning. New farmers need to focus on one or two things until they become successful. As in any business, trying to take on too much can be the mistake holding a beginning farmer back from every getting the ball rolling.
Treat Farming as a Business
The single most important factor in farming success is to approach farming as an actual business. Many farmers have big and noble ambitions, but you need to pay attention to the bottom line if you want the farm to succeed and grow over a long period of time.
If you are ready to start or expand your farm, the Canadian Grants Business Center can help you find funding. Use our funding finder tool:
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