A Quick Guide to Getting Your Hands Dirty (Literally!)

Farming is like city work. You wake up before the sun rises, accomplish a series of daily routines, and retire as the sun sets. The only difference is that you get your hands dirty and literally reap what you sow. Although farming jobs are declining due to urbanization, tilling the soil and herding cattle are still a noble career to consider.

However, being a farmer isn’t easy as it involves tending crops, taking care of animals, and dealing with natural occurrences such as drought, pests, and frost. But if you’re willing to be as “happy as a pig in mud,” here is a quick guide to a fun and “fruitful” career in agriculture:

Identify the market

The first step to being a farmer is to identify the market. There are three questions you should ask yourself before you start farming: Who will buy your produce? How are you going to bring your products to consumers? When should you sell your harvest, cattle, poultry, or hogs?

After asking yourself these questions, create a marketing plan, and don’t forget your back-up plans (if the first plan fails). Remember that your produce has a short shelf life. It’s essential to find your market so that your efforts won’t go to waste.

Know the equipment

Farmers use a variety of tools for their trade, and it’s essential to familiarize yourself with their use. Some of these machine-driven tools include tractors, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), cultivators, plows, seed drills, transplanters, harvesters, and mowers. Scythes and sickles are some of the traditional tools still used by farmers today.

Farmers should also know how to source parts for their devices, such as Duncan drill parts. New Zealand is a good source of farm equipment parts if needed. Equipment maintenance is as vital as familiarizing yourself with these farming tools.

little girl watering the plants

Follow your “farming passion”

Farm life isn’t easy, and chores don’t end as the moon rises. For a “manageable” life on the farm, choose to raise or plant what you want. If you’re passionate about raising poultry, focus on that. If you love vegetables such as carrots or cabbages, plant them.

Choosing what you’re passionate about will help you survive difficult days. Quit being a chicken and take the bull by its horns. Think of your first harvest as a reward, as earnings from farming will follow. Your farm will survive.

Be reasonable with your goals

Even farmers know about goal-setting basics. You will never survive the first six months of being a farmer if you are too impulsive. Managing and operating a farm can drain you emotionally and physically. Unknown to many, people in the agricultural business also suffer from burnout.

Self-care and unwinding are highly recommended. If you want to mitigate farm burnout, it’s best to set reasonable goals. Create short and long-term goals. Have contingency plans in place when unfortunate events arise. Take time to enjoy life with your family and friends. Stop and enjoy your hard work. You deserve it.

Farming life is full of surprises. It’s both happy and frustrating. Farmers face challenges every day as they find ways to help feed our planet. It can have ups and downs, but going back to our roots will beef us up for an exciting life in agriculture.

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