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Farming is tough work. Waking up early and performing your daily tasks until the late evening only to repeat every day is not easy. It also results in only so much revenue for farmers. Not to mention, small farmers must compete with agribusinesses that produce most of the nation’s food supply. Given that, there are ways farmers can turn their farm into a thriving business. As a small or local farmer, you should know how to make your farm more profitable to make the most money possible.
Start a Bed and Breakfast
Barns, farmhouses, or extra land space can all be converted into lodging for a bed and breakfast. Many people want to feel connected to their food sources, so take this opportunity to attract more consumers. Plus, this is a great financial opportunity. You can even have visitors do basic chores to feel more immersed. Include any accommodations and amenities you see fit for your farm.
Convert it into a Dude Ranch
No, this isn’t reserved for “dudes.” Dude ranches—or sometimes called guest ranches—are becoming more popular in the west and southwest United States. Ultimately, this is where guests can stay and live on a ranch and perform various activities. Visitors can hunt, fish, hike, ride horses, or engage in other outdoor activities. Dude ranches are a great form of agritourism where guests feel connected to nature and agriculture. Just make sure you follow some agritourist preparation tips so that you know what to do.
Let Customers Pick-Their-Own
Whether it’s apples, pumpkins, peaches, blueberries, or another crop, pick-your-own options offer an efficient way to increase traffic to your farm. People enjoy choosing their own fruits and vegetables to eat or cook with. Whichever crop it is, consumers will feel more connected with where their food comes from, and they value the farm-to-table experience.
Grow Specialty Crops
Specialty crops offer a unique financial boost to your farm given their rarity. While most farms grow basic crops like wheat, soybeans, or corn, you can grow something different. Consider something other farmers neglect, such as microgreens, oyster mushrooms, or even flowers. Tackling a fringe crop market that other farmers neglect will give you an opportunity to expand your business while decreasing your competitors.
Similarly, you can raise specialty animals that are different than conventional livestock. Consider a fast-producing animal such as rabbits. While other farmers grow broiler chickens because of their fast growth and they sell for a high net gain per pound, rabbits offer the same advantages. Given their uncommon nature in cuisine, rabbits are highly sought after. You can also choose other uncommon animals, such as snails, fish, worms, goats, quails, or even ostriches.