Are you wondering how to be a good farmer? Chances are, if you’re asking yourself that question, you probably already are. However, if you’re questioning whether you have what it takes, this article will give you all the information you need to know to make sure you’re up to the challenges of the job.
What You'll Learn Today
- What Qualities Make a Good Farmer?
- What Skills Are Needed for Farming?
- What Should a Good Farmer Do? Keys to Successful Farming
- How Do You Become a Farmer?
What Qualities Make a Good Farmer?
Farmers are essential to the success of any society – and to the economy. If you love being outdoors, you love animals, and you are a hard worker, then chances are, you may have considered becoming a farmer.
But how do you know if you will be a good one? Here are some traits you should have.
Patience and Grit
A good farmer isn’t one who gives up at the slightest sign of a struggle – he maintains his cool in the face of overwhelming adversity and disappointment.
Successful farmers don’t get frustrated by results that are slow – or results that are seemingly nonexistent. They take things in stride and use failures as opportunities to plan better for next time.
A Willingness to Learn
To make it in the world of farming, you have to be a perpetual student.
Be willing to adapt to and learn new technologies, methods, and environments. Be constantly curious. Ask questions. Experiment.
The more things you try, the more knowledgeable you will become – and the more successful you will ultimately be, too.
As a farmer, you will have to keep track of lots of things – both physical things and intangible ones
Because of this, organization is key. You’ll need to find a way to stay on top of your daily tasks and keep everything prioritized.
You’ll also need to be able to track and analyze data so that you can predict future outcomes.
A successful farmer will be one that is good with numbers. You’ll have to keep track of facts and figures, to how much you spent on feed last year to how much you should be charging as you analyze your profits.
Being bad with numbers can be dangerous, regardless of whether you are raising plants or animals.
This is something that many farmers struggle with, but the most successful farmers will find a way to learn.
You have to be willing to make the sale! Whether you’re selling products face-to-face at the farmer’s market or solely online, you need to be able to plan out your marketing strategy and sales pitch so that you can make the most money possible.
A Hardworking Nature
Last but not least, the most obvious quality that a good farmer should have – he has to be tenacious. Farmers need to be able to work from sunup to sundown, in cold weather or in hot, in rain or snow.
Farmers don’t sleep in – they are up and at ‘em before daybreak. You’ve got to be willing to work as a farmer!
What Skills Are Needed for Farming?
It’s not only innate qualities that are necessary for farming – you’ll also need some concrete skills. The good news is that many of these skills can be acquired the old-fashioned way – hands-on experience!
One of the most valuable skills a farmer can have is the ability to solve problems. Farming, like many professions, is very much a trial-and-error kind of career.
No two days are exactly the same, nor are there two problems. You’ll have to find the most efficient and effective ways to do things, whether that’s from plowing a field to resolving a disease issue with your livestock.
Often, farmers have to deal with havoc being wrecked on their best-laid plans. Unpredictable weather can decimate crops or cause delays in planting. Cattle may break a fence and escape. As a farmer, you need to know how to be able to think on your feet and solve problems without losing your cool.
Maintaining your tools and equipment is essential if you want to be a farmer of any kind.
While you don’t have to be an expert, knowing how to do things like routine repairs to buildings, simple plumbing work, and oil changes are vital. Again, you can learn these skills later on – but it’s important that you do, ultimately, take the time to learn them if you want to be a good farmer.
Time Management Skills
It’s no secret that if you’re going to be a farmer, you can’t be lazy. Having good time management skills and the tenacity to work from sunup to sundown during busy seasons is vital.
You need to have a good idea of what needs to get done and when – that way, you can avoid running around like a chicken with your head cut off!
Interpersonal and Communication Skills
This is an area that many farmers would disagree on – “I’m working with plants and animals,” they might argue, “so why do I need to know how to communicate?”
This is where the distinction between a good farmer and a great farmer really comes in.
A great farmer will be able to effectively lead farmhands in completing tasks. These communication skills will also help the farmer negotiate the best rates for their products and to interact with buyers, clients, and other associates.
What Should a Good Farmer Do? Keys to Successful Farming
Whether you’ve been a farmer for a while or are considering whether you should dive in, these are the keys to being successful in agriculture.
1. Educate Yourself
If you want to be a good farmer, the reassuring news is that you don’t have to be perfect – none of us are.
However, you do have to be constantly willing to learn. Educate yourself as much as you can both before you get started as well as continuously throughout your career.
What is the latest research in raising beef cattle? What does this herbicide do to crops? Are there ways to improve your yields without spending more money?
Read, read, read – and read some more. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your support network for more information or to attend classes or conventions, either.
2. Come Up With a Business Plan
Another trait of a good farmer is that he or she has a clear vision of where the business should be in five, ten, fifteen, or twenty years.
A great place to start is in writing a business plan. This video has some excellent information on how exactly to do so.
If you’re uncertain about your future and not sure where your business will go, that’s okay, too. The goal of a business plan isn’t to lock you into any single path but rather, to make sure that you have some sort of vision that can be updated, edited, or amended as needed.
3. Prepare For Both Good Times and Bad
Good farmers know that it’s not all sunshine and daisies when it comes to life on the farm.
You have to be able to prepare for both good times as well as bad – not all days will be perfect, not all harvests will be bountiful.
Being able to withstand bad times is essential when it comes to being a good farmer.
How Do You Become a Farmer?
Farming can be a rewarding profession that gives you the opportunity to escape the rat race and live your life on your own terms, while also providing for yourself and others.
At the end of the day, being a good farmer is about loving what you do and making sure to treat your land and animals well. It’s not always easy – but it will pay off in the long run.