Thursday, January 3, 2013

Stages of Learning to Farm

The stages of learning to farm are a little like putting together a personal budget. For a budget you would be working on it monthly and for a farm the time frame is seasonal.

  1. The first season you are just gathering up all the pieces (or maybe like us you have been growing on a small scaled and now want to step into the commercial market place).
  2. The second season things start to get organized a little and improvements are made, but it still feels like you are way out of your comfort zone. Financially you are starting to get a plan and have made a minimum strategic investments in tools.
  3. The third season there is a plan and you start to feel more comfortable. You have stopped doing some things that don't work and are moving in some directions that are both profitable and fit your operation. Financially you are probably breaking even if you don't count all the time you )have invested.
  4. The fourth season you are focused and you have a thorough plan. You are still doing much fine tuning and investing. If you are employed outside the farm you probably have one or more workers on the farm and are learning how to work with "help".
  5. The fifth season your plan is feeling pretty good and you are focused on execution. You have enough history to be able to keep products that are profitable and eliminate those that are not. Maybe there is a little profit but you are still investing in tools, so profit is still limited.
  6. It probably isn't until the 7th or 8th season that your have enough experience to turn a profit and really feel comfortable with the farm.
  7. By season 10 maybe you will be able to quit your day job if that is your goal.

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