Farming has become a big business.
In some ways, it is a simpler life than the urban lifestyle.
Even so, you have to be a businessman, a scientist, and be able to do hard work.
It can be a rewarding lifestyle, but there are a lot of risks involved.
Farming provides food for the world, so there is also a sense of doing good for others.
If you can stand some risk, farming can be a great lifestyle.
Pros of Being a Farmer
1. Meeting a great need
There has to be some satisfaction in knowing you are producing food for a lot of people.
Basically, all food comes from farms, and there are many kinds of farms.
It is fulfilling to know that what you are doing is going to make a positive difference to a lot of people.
The culture may not appreciate all you do, but you know your job is important to a lot of people.
Whether they realize it or not, the world depends on you.
2. You get some long breaks
You have to follow the cycles of the seasons.
There are times when you have to work many hours a day, a lot of days in a row.
There are also times when there is not much going on, so you have a lot of free time.
There may not be anything happening for a month or two during the winter, for instance.
If you raise animals, those breaks may not happen as often.
There are definite cycles to the work of farming.
3. You get to be outdoors a lot
Being outside in the sunshine is good for you, mentally, emotionally, and physically.
You get the benefits of fresh air.
There is also some physical labor involved, so you may get a good workout while you are doing your job as well.
In general, the lifestyle of a farmer is very healthy.
There is a sense of freedom when you do not have to be inside a building, or sitting at a desk.
You can save a lot of money by producing your own food, as you produce food for the general public.
You can grow your own vegetables, as well as animals for food.
This could mean you don’t have to buy groceries as often.
Fresh food is healthier too, so that is an added bonus.
There is some expense involved, but your cost of living will go down significantly when you grow a lot of your own food.
5. Be your own boss
As a farmer, you run your own business, so if you like being self-employed, this is a bonus.
You have to have a head for business in addition to knowing how to grow crops or animals for sale.
You have to be a self-starter because you are the boss.
You can do things the way you want to do them.
6. Low stress
It can get stressful if you have a catastrophe caused by the weather, but for the most part, there is not much stress or pressure.
You can do things the way you want, and you let nature take its course.
You do have to work within the seasons, but you still have a lot of control over when and how you work.
You harvest when the crop is ready.
There may be financial worries, but on a day-to-day basis, life is simple without much stress or pressure.
7. Technology improved farming
Farming has gotten a lot easier as technology and knowledge of biology have advanced.
For example, 100 years ago it would take 20 people two weeks to harvest 100 acres of wheat.
Today, two people can do that in a single day.
Farming is still hard work, but it has gotten a lot easier over the years.
Yields are also better, so you stand to make more profit.
8. Back to nature
As a farmer, you are much more in touch with natural cycles.
You will start the day early, and you have to stop when it gets dark.
You have to plant at a certain time, and you harvest when it is ready.
You don’t have control over these cycles, but it is a good feeling to be part of those natural cycles.
Being more in touch with the natural cycles would probably also be good for your mental health.
Cons of Being a Farmer
1. It costs a lot to get started
Farming has become a high-tech industry, and it takes a lot of money to get started.
You also have to have land for the farm, and that is expensive too.
Often, farmers grew up on a farm, and it is easier that way.
You have to have a lot of money to get started as a farmer if you don’t already have some land and technology to work with.
You can start small with a part-time operation and work your way up.
2. Things you can’t control
As great as technology is, farmers are still reliant on the weather which they cannot control.
Even with irrigation, a long drought can make your crops fail.
Big storms, or floods, can wipe out your crops.
The weather can also make your crops not as good as they could be, lowering your profits.
It takes a big investment and there are risks you face that could wipe you out.
3. Financial insecurity
Many farmers have to take out a loan each year to be able to put in another crop.
There is a lot of expense each year.
The farmers pay that back with part of their profits.
If a crop is wiped out or damaged, you may not be able to pay that loan back.
Most farmers can get by with that happening once, but if it happens two years in a row, most farmers would be broke.
Technology has made farming better, but more expensive too.
4. Prices are not stable
You can have a great crop and prices can go down, making your crop not as profitable.
Of course, the opposite can happen and that is good.
Farmers have to be good business people and you have to pay attention to what is being paid for crops.
A lot of things affect prices, including politics around the world, and even how popular your product is that year.
Most farmers get paid only once a year, but many have more than one kind of crop, which cuts the risk to some degree.
5. It is a lot of hard work
Technology has made it easier, but farming is still a lot of work.
During harvest, you may have to work from sunup to sundown for several days in a row.
The positive side is that there are slow times of the year, but there are also times of the year when you have to work almost nonstop.
For most types of farming, there is a lot of work to be done.
In most cases, you also need to be in fairly good shape and be able to lift heavy objects.
6. There are a lot of rules to follow
You may own your own business and the land, but there are still a lot of rules.
There are safety rules and regulations for the product you are selling, and even how it is grown in some cases.
There are rules about what you can do on your land.
Federal, state, and local rules are all things you have to know and follow to be profitable.
Sometimes that affects your profitability.
The rules are usually not a problem, but they can seem like too much at times.
7. You need business skills
Growing your crops, or animals, is hard enough, but you also have to run the business and make it profitable.
There is a lot of expense in farming, so you have to earn a lot on your crop to be profitable.
The business aspect is the most stressful part of farming.
There is a lot of paperwork involved.
The bottom line is you are running a business.
You can have the greatest crop ever, but if you don’t run the business well, you still won’t make much profit.
8. The rural life
A lot of people like the rural lifestyle, being somewhat remote.
It is not for everyone though.
If you don’t like the rural lifestyle, you may not like farming.
There are advantages to being rural, but there are also disadvantages.
Urban areas have more conveniences and they are close by.
You may have to drive a long way just to go to a grocery store, or to get supplies you need for your farming operation.
The rural aspect is a positive for a lot of people, but it is also a negative for some people.
Pros and Cons of Being a Farmer – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Farmer||Cons of Being a Farmer|
|1. Meeting a great need||1. It costs a lot to get started|
|2. You get some long breaks||2. Things you can't control|
|3. You get to be outdoors a lot||3. Financial insecurity|
|4. Sustainability||4. Prices are not stable|
|5. Be your own boss||5. It is a lot of hard work|
|6. Low stress||6. There are a lot of rules to follow|
|7. Technology improved farming||7. You need business skills|
|8. Back to nature||8. The rural life|
So … Should I Become a Farmer?
Farming is a lifestyle as much as it is a job.
It is expensive to get started.
There are many positive and negative aspects.
A lot depends on your personality.
If you like rural life and being part of natural cycles, it can be a good experience.
If you are comfortable with farming life, you should try to become a farmer.
If you are not comfortable, you probably won’t like it and the risks are too great.
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