Author: Farm Worker

Buying A Home In A Rural Area

If you’re looking to live in a rural area away from the city, you may want to own more property and live away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Although it may be exciting to start the process of looking for the right home to own, there are a few important facts to understand. Buying a home in a rural area is slightly different than purchasing a property in a developed part of the city, making it necessary to be prepared.

Research the Utilities Available

Keep in mind that fewer utility companies are available in rural areas because there aren’t as many people living in the area. Expect your options to be limited when it comes to finding the right cable company or internet provider. You may only have one option available, even if it’s not the best company.

You also need to consider if you’ll need to have your own septic system because rural homes are typically not hooked up to commercial systems. Fortunately, taxes are often lower if you have your own septic system compared to buying a house in a developed neighborhood.

You may also not have a connection to public water and may need your own well water system. You can have access to groundwater to use in the house. This can provide you with access to free water, which means you don’t have to worry about high water bills after purchasing the home.

Determine How Much Property

Consider how much property you want to own, whether you’re looking to purchase a farm or a home. Many buyers make the mistake of assuming more than enough land is available, which isn’t always the case. You may want to live on several acres of land or still want to live close to other neighbors. If you find a property with a lot of acres, some of it may not be developed, which means it’s unusable. Consider your needs in the future and if you plan to expand on the existing house.

Hire a Real Estate Agent with Rural Buying Experience

Consider hiring a real estate agent with experience helping buyers find land in rural areas to ensure they know how to navigate the process. They’ll understand what additional documents are required and will understand the different rules and regulations involved. If you hire a typical real estate agent, they can make mistakes and make it a more challenging process.

Apply for a USDA Loan

USDA loans are specific to those who plan to purchase property in a rural area and are backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You can obtain financing for the new home without a down payment. Additional benefits of a USDA loan are below-market mortgage rates and reduced mortgage insurance for added savings on the term of the loan.

Applicants must typically have a FICO score of at least 640 and a debt-to-income ratio of 41 percent or less.

Knowing what to expect once you decide to purchase a home in a rural area will allow you to be prepared for the process and make it go smoother. You can look forward to relocating to a remote area and have a smooth and successful transaction to ensure you can find the right property for your needs

How Farming In The US Has Changed In The Last 50 Years

Farmers love what they do. In 1935, there were about 7 million farms in America, the vast majority run by families. Farms stayed in the family for generations. Old MacDonald ran a standard farm.

Ninety percent of those farms were without power. The Rural Electrification Act, which brought electricity and telephones to the countryside, was passed in 1935 and farms and farming began to change.

By 1965, the majority of rural America was powered up. Now there are just over 2 million farms in the US. Those farms, however, are still owned and operated by families. But while there are fewer farms, they are more productive. A farmer in the 1960s could feed around 26 people. Today’s farmer can feed 155.

What has caused this increase in productivity? The answer is technology in various forms.

1. Farm Machinery

  • Tractors – Up into the 1960s, animal power was still used to pull wagons and plows on some American farms. When tractors replaced horses, productivity increased. More land could be plowed.
  • Plows – Modern plows can turn over multiple rows at one time.
  • Seeders – These machines plant the seeds in multiple rows at the same time.
  • Combines or combine harvesters – These huge machines have taken over the tedious work of hand picking.
  • Milking machines – Automatic machines make milking multiple cows at one time possible.
  • Automatic feeders – Barns now come with built-in machinery, such as automatic feeders.

2. Crop Management

  • Soil testing techniques – Evaluation of soil samples enables the farmer to determine what nutrients must be added in order to produce the best yield.
  • Pest control – The development of eco-friendly pesticides and herbicides, along with new fertilizers, has increased productivity per acre.
  • Land management – The science involved in crop management has advanced tremendously. Today’s farmer is a scientist.
  • Genetics – Breeding programs have been going on for many centuries, since long before Mendel. Now new, hardier, more pest resistant varieties are being produced.

3. Animal Husbandry

  • Change in environment – The biggest change is moving animals to more comfortable living conditions inside.
  • Controlled temperatures – Barns use sprinklers and fans to cool the animals during the hot summer months. Some barns are even airconditioned.
  • Protection from pests and predators. – The inside environment is protective.

4. Specialization

  • No multiple crop farms – Crop farmers now produce one, or at most two, crops per season. They are set up for corn or wheat or soybeans. It enables them to produce the greatest yield per acre in the most efficient way.
  • Single animal farms – In the past, farmers would raise beef cattle, a few dairy cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, etc. Now it’s just one animal. Dairy cattle or beef cattle, not both.
  • Sub specialization – Some farms have gone an extra step. Farrowing farms only birth pigs. That’s all they do. Other farms specializes in artificial insemination. Some in raising young animals. The narrower the focus, the more efficient the farm is.

Besides increasing the productivity of farms, these changes in farming have resulted in fewer farm workers, better educated farmers, and mechanization of the whole process. Goodbye, Old MacDonald.

How to Get Into Farming

If you have an interest in farming and contributing to American agriculture, it’s a great time to get started due to the increasing demands on the agriculture industry.

Having the proper tools and resources is vital to your continued growth and success. Although it can feel overwhelming not knowing where to start, there are a few important steps to take as you learn the ropes.

Utilize Different Resources

Fortunately, many resources are available to help you get started with your farming endeavors to ensure you’re equipped.

The Farmer Resource Network is a great place to find different types of resources and includes a convenient search tool.

You can also access the ATTRA’s Internship and Apprenticeship Database to find opportunities for farming internships in the local area to learn from experienced farmers. You’ll get a firsthand experience and proper training by spending time on an actual farm.

Learn the Science

As an aspiring first generation farmer, it’s important to learn as much as possible about agriculture.

Although getting a degree isn’t required, it’s important to learn the science behind farming to ensure you can effectively solve problems that arise each season. Prioritize reading to learn about the science of farming, as well as other types of aspects of the business.

You’ll need to become educated on leadership principles, operational structures, and even accounting concepts to develop confidence with your skills and expertise.

Form the Right Relationships

Although many people attempt to network with as many people as possible when getting started in the industry, it’s more important to find relationships where trust is present.

You’ll need to find a mentor who has your best interest in mind and can help you avoid mistakes as you’re starting out.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

When you’re working hard towards becoming a farm owner, keep your current job as long as possible to reduce your risk of financial loss.

Although you may be passionate about farming, you still need to be able to pay your bills to avoid getting into debt.

Have patience with the process, knowing that you’ll put yourself at less of a risk if you wait as long as possible to transition to becoming a full-time farmer.

Ask Questions

Asking questions is key to understanding why you’re meant to do tasks a certain way.

Having more of an understanding of the different parts of farming will go farther than just trying to appear knowledgeable.

It’s important to continue to learn and always have the right people who can give you answers when you have questions.

Become More Creative

Thinking outside of the box is key to attaining success as a new farmer and overcoming challenges you may face in the agriculture industry.

Consider thinking about different foods that other farmers aren’t growing in the local area, which can allow you to become more competitive. You can also consider what you can offer to a local farmer to ensure they assist and guide you with your own farm.

Although your passion can motivate you to work hard and develop your farm, other factors will contribute to your success as a first generation farmer. Forming the right relationships with veteran farmers or having access to different resources available will allow you to have the advantage and become more confident in your abilities.

Fair Pay and Farm Workers

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How COVID-19 Has Affected Farm Workers

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Consectetur adipiscing elit duis tristique sollicitudin nibh sit. Orci eu lobortis elementum nibh tellus molestie nunc non blandit. Diam donec adipiscing tristique risus nec feugiat in. Lectus magna fringilla urna porttitor rhoncus dolor purus non. Massa tincidunt dui ut ornare lectus sit amet est placerat. Consectetur libero id faucibus nisl. Suscipit tellus mauris a diam maecenas sed. Fames ac turpis egestas sed tempus urna et pharetra pharetra. Nunc id cursus metus aliquam eleifend mi in nulla posuere. In hendrerit gravida rutrum quisque non.

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Donec massa sapien faucibus et molestie ac feugiat. Sit amet est placerat in egestas erat imperdiet. Massa tincidunt dui ut ornare lectus. Venenatis urna cursus eget nunc scelerisque viverra mauris in. Duis tristique sollicitudin nibh sit amet commodo nulla facilisi nullam. Amet nisl purus in mollis nunc sed id semper risus. Volutpat consequat mauris nunc congue nisi vitae suscipit tellus mauris. Vulputate eu scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Blandit turpis cursus in hac habitasse platea. Dictum at tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed. Lacus sed turpis tincidunt id. Vulputate eu scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo vel. Ut diam quam nulla porttitor massa id. Quam lacus suspendisse faucibus interdum posuere. Consectetur libero id faucibus nisl tincidunt eget nullam non. Et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas.