Pros and Cons of Being a Farmer

Are you considering farm life?

It’s hard to test any career before you choose it, and farming is no different. Switching from a regular job to farm life, however, often presents many challenges, and it’s not a step to take lightly. Since you shouldn’t buy a farm and make your investments unless you’re sure, plan with care before choosing a future in farming.

To help make your decision easier, consider these pros and cons of farming.

Cons

  • You work for yourself. When you’re working for yourself, you’re responsible for everything that goes wrong. If you hurt yourself in a major incident, you can’t call a personal injury lawyer and sue your employer for negligence, because your boss is you!
  • You can feel isolated. Farms, by nature, take up a great deal of land. That means you’ll have few neighbors, and live further from cities and cultural centers. Farming can breed loneliness, if you’re not careful.
  • The hours are unusual. There’s no 8-5 on the farm. While you might find yourself relaxing more in the winter, you’ll work long, heavy hours in the summer, spring, and fall. You must always feed the animals and tend the crops, even when it’s Saturday.
  • You don’t make a great deal of money. If you love farming, it’s worth it, but it’s not a get rich quick scheme. Farmers don’t make millions, although they do average around $70,000 a year. The other problem with farming is that it’s hard to get started. Until you pay off your investment, you don’t get to keep much of that income.

Pros

  • You work for yourself. When you farm, you don’t have all the advantages of paid time off or insurance, but you get your independence. Farming is perfect for someone who hates the thought of bosses or a job controlling them. In farming, you call all the shots.
  • You get to work outdoors. Many people forget how important it is to get fresh air, sunshine, and interact with nature. You may notice how you get a good feeling when you garden in your backyard, and getting to work outside would give you that chance year round.
  • You’re self-sustaining. As a farmer, you can grow a great deal of your own food. You can also grow the food for your animals by planting forage sorghum and storing it. Farmers rely very little on outside systems.
  • You’ll never commute. It might sound funny at first, but imagine the ability to work at home, without getting a case of cabin fever. You can get up and walk across the yard to do your work.
  • Every day is different. If the idea of working in an assembly line gives you the shivers, farming could agree with you. In farming, every day provides plenty of different tasks, so you’ll never get bored with your workload.
  • You set your own pace. When you farm, you can work at your own pace. You must feed animals at certain times, but you have flexibility in what you do when, and how fast you do it.

Farming could be a terrible fit for you, or it could turn into an amazing one. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in farming, consider working on a farm in the summer, spring, or fall. The more time you spend on a farm, the easier your decision becomes. Do you like the idea of the peace and quiet, or do you fear the isolation? Do you love the idea of working for yourself, or do you not want sole responsibility for your income? Answering these questions will help you decide.

Community