If you see yourself retiring on a farm one day or becoming a farmer even earlier than your retirement age, don’t abandon that dream. While it is certainly hard work and far from the “prairie life” that the media presents it to be, farming has many physical, mental, emotional, financial, and spiritual benefits—not to mention the kindness that you will bring upon the world’s natural resources. Here are some reasons why being a farmer is one of the best things you can do for your future and the world.
Farming is a legitimate career
When we think of having a career, we often think of being a lawyer or a businessman, but not being a farmer. As a job, it’s usually sidelined and not seriously considered by people as a legitimate profession. But just like starting a business or a new job, moving to a rural area to become a farmer takes a lot of hard work and investment of your time and financial resources. It’s a real job, a legitimate way to earn a living. You don’t need to have certain degrees to be a farmer. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, love the great outdoors and animals, farming might be a suitable career.
Here are some key ways to get started on your farming career:
- Take some classes and courses on agriculture.
- Enlist the help of professionals to identify what you need for USDA loan applications.
- Go to your local farmers’ market and meet some farmers. Ask them about their daily life and what you need to do to get started.
You can make money from farming
Perhaps the one product in the world that there will always be a demand for is food, and as a farmer, you will have the ability to provide consumers with food from your farm to their tables. Here are some ways to turn a farm into a money-making venture through food:
- Grow vegetables, fruits, and other gourmet produce.
- Grow dual crops.
- Turn your land into a campsite.
- Start a bed-and-breakfast.
- Turn your space into a small events venue.
- If your farm has a lake, raise different types of fish.
- Raise worms for bait.
- Raise specialty animals like deer and llama.
- Rent beehives.
- Grow flowers.
- Start a blog or vlog about your farming life.
You don’t need hundreds of acres to find success and fulfillment as a farmer; a well-managed land with diversified operations can help you live a fulfilling, humble, and simple life.
Being a farmer will help you live a healthier life
While it’s true that farming comes with a lot of significant health hazards since farmers are always exposed to harsh elements and are always operating dangerous machinery and equipment, farmers are generally considered more able to healthier lifestyles. They are known to have longer lifespans because they’re surrounded by greenery, consume organic produce, and are not as exposed to air pollution.
Farming will help you become independent and self-sustaining
Self-sufficient living is all about growing your own, making your own, selling your own, cooking your own, baking your own, for homesteading or mini-farms. Self-reliance is one of the best ways to ensure our survival, especially as the effects of climate change continue to ravage our planet—not to mention food safety and economic uncertainty. Even if you don’t own a piece of land yet, you can start by gardening in your current yard and planting your vegetables and fruits as practice until you become a true farmer in every way.
Becoming a farmer is being kind to the environment
Another massive benefit of being a farmer is that it’s good for the environment. Here are some environmental benefits of organic farming:
- It helps build healthier soil.
- It slows down the effects of climate change.
- It supports water health and conservation.
- It reduces humanity’s exposure to harmful chemicals and pesticides.
- It combats soil erosion.
- It supports animal welfare and health.
- It promotes biodiversity.
Studies show that food production alone accounts for one-quarter to one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions globally, and a lot of it is contributed by the livestock industry. There’s no denying that our eating choices affect the health of the planet, and becoming a farmer and encouraging everyone around you to make healthier food choices can help save lives and our world.
The Bottom Line
Farming may not be the perfect picture of the American Dream, but it has many individual and environmental benefits that make it a path worth exploring. So do your research and dream! It might just be the career choice that gives you a lifetime of joy and contentment.