Family owned farms face many challenges. Rising costs of equipment and supplies, lower prices at market and competition with corporate-owned farming facilities are just a few factors beneath which many farming families struggle.
Supplemental moneymaking opportunities can help farming families when times are tight. The large amount of land available on the average family farm lends itself to a variety of moneymaking ventures.
Horse or Pet Boarding
If you have the facilities available on the farm, a horse- or pet-boarding business is a good use of the land. A pet-boarding business attracts pet owners who want their pets to have space to run. Build a pet enclosure or dog run so pets get plenty of exercise while their owners are away. Dog day care services are also popular with working families. You take care of pets during the day and send them home with their owners at night. For those who own horses, a horse-boarding service is a good option.
You should set your price based on a calculation of the costs you will incur. The exact cost varies by area depending on food costs and other care expenses. But Make sure the prices you set leave you with a profit.
Tours and Parties
Set up a tour program for your farm. Local youth groups and schools often look for tours that allow their kids to participate in hands-on learning. Develop a tour that allows them to interact with animals and participate in farm work.
Birthday parties offer a similar moneymaking opportunity. If you have gentle horses, offer horseback riding as a party activity. A large tree house and other outdoor play equipment is also a good draw for parties. Liability insurance is important when operating a business where people visit the farm. Check with your insurance agent to determine the requirements and restrictions.
For certain areas, a pumpkin patch offers a seasonal moneymaking opportunity on a farm. Set aside an area of the farm for growing pumpkins. Families can pick their own pumpkins on a farm.
Add other entertainment to draw customers, particularly if there are lots of pumpkin patches in the area. Corn mazes, corn pools, petting zoos, tree houses and bouncy houses are common options for farm-based pumpkin patches.
Charge entrance fees plus the cost of the pumpkins to make money on this idea.
Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs
The quest for healthier and environmentally friendly lifestyles has led many families to seek out local foods. Take advantage of available land on the farm to grown fruits, vegetables and herbs. Local residents will appreciate locally grown food. Seek out a farmer's market in the area for selling your produce. And allow customers to come to the farm and pick their own food. If you have berries, consider selling homemade jams.
Make sure to check on local food laws regarding the sale of these items. You may need a license of liability insurance.
Fresh Milk, Eggs & Other Products
If you have cows or chickens on the farm, consider selling the milk and eggs. Like fruits and vegetables, more people are looking for local dairy and egg products. Locally produced cheeses, yoghurts and other dairy products present more sales opportunities. Look for a locally owned market that is open to selling your items. You can also build a small store on the farm or sell the items at farmers markets.
It is important to check with the food laws so you are following all of the regulations.