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Questions and Answers

Summer farm experience?

Where can one find a farm(like Dairy,Wine etc) that offers a paid summer farm experience program in the US.

Posted by tk
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Considering this is the Los Angeles travel forum, and this is an urban/suburban area, we aren't really into summer farm work here. However, doing a search for summer farm internships produced a lot of good leads: Http://;_ylt=Aiha…

How would you start your own farm?

Say you inherited money and live in a suburban area. There few farms around. Say you wanted to start your own farm (such as poultry, or rabbit) to free range the animals and sell organic. How would you figure out how to start? What supplies to need? What if someone wanted to buy just one body part? I have many more questions. But I need a place to start. I am dedicated to doing this. Can anyone help please?

Posted by natalie l
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Starting a small poultry or rabbit operation does not take much, however remember small operations aren't hugely profitable, One suggestion I would make especially if you were into permaculture or organic farming/ranching etc. Would be to check out communes/intentional communities there are many which if you are a adult will offer you a internship or some are income sharing, there can be heavy screening requirements to joining but if your enthusiastic and interested in learning about these fields it is a good area to start. I always suggest to anyone who is interested in agriculture and is from the suburbs, big city that they should start first with the skills then with the land, the land is something that can be easily negotiated [i know quite a few people who become farmhand and live simply and then move on to renting and then on to buying land it seems to be the best solution] I have seen many a friend who have thought the farming/rural life is for them and then realize overall it not just not on their dance card. Anyway provided a few links of the top of my head that I have heard from people who are on that path, run with it and have fun.

Good Luck and Blessings with your journey!!

I have decided to major in horticulture and agronomy. I am a suburban girl with no faming experience. Whats?

After school what will be the best way for me to start my own farm. And what are good places to do apprecticships for farming?
After school what will be the best way for me to start my own farm. And what are good places to do apprecticships for farming? I just feel that in the coming years, being able to sustain myself and my family will be essential. I believe farming is a really important skill to have.

Posted by pandappleness
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You could try contacting Dookie Agricultural College (near Shepparton in Victoria). I think it's connected to the University of Melbourne, and does training in that sort of thing. I don't know their website, but you could try VTAC.

Other courses might be the equine studies courses offered by some TAFEs, particularly Wangaratta. These could set you up for a career in the horse industry. Also, there might be more specific farming courses offered by TAFEs. Don't be afraid to move away to study — it's a great experience, and it's worth it to do the course you want.

Your best bet, if you want to start a farm, is to do some training. Perhaps not even a farming apprenticeship, but just welding, fencemaking, basic mechanics, and cropping, and tractor licences. Qualifications in basic skills are a good fall back too if things are tough sometimes, because you can get external work to supplement your income. It makes you more employable, but also makes you a better, safer farmer if you know what you're doing.

If I were you, and really were interested in a farming life, I'd see if I could get work on a farm over the summer. You could move away somewhere (providing you have a car) to a rural area, live in a caravan park to keep costs down, and apply for work as a farm labourer. You might get a position, which would give you plenty of hands on experience, and would let you see if you were really set on it. This could be really hard, depending on where you live. There's a lot of farmers doing it tough right now and barely making ends meet, so they might not be able to put on staff. I'm in Shepparton, and we had rain at the wrong time. All the local apricots are ruined (devastating for local farmers) and before that, a lot of people cut hay and had it ruined with rain. We need the rain, but it's got a bad habit of showing up at the worst times.

Farming is REALLY hard work. It's manual labour, and running a small business all at the same time. My Dad ran a farm for years. I was raised on one. It was some of the hardest work I've ever done, and there were times when things were really tough. One year my Dad cut all the hay and had it drying before he baled it. We got .4 of a ml of rain. It all rotted in the paddocks and cost us thousands. That was pretty heartbreaking. So I suggest you go do some practical experience and find out whether you can handle it or not. There's a lot of people who go into it with romantic notions and then find out how hard it really is.

Mind you, it's incredibly rewarding. If you are efficient, and know what you're doing, you can run a successful business. You're in control and can make the decisions. Furthermore, if you really want a farm but don't think you could make a living from it, you can get a job somewhere else and live on a hobby farm. This gives you the best of both worlds — livestock, cropping, a residence, and an external income. If you grow a lucrative specialty crop, you might do quite well.

If you do eventually plan to buy your own farm, you'll need to start saving for a deposit right now. You should be saving as much as you can and investing it, because the bigger the deposit, the less you need to borrow, and the better off you'll be financially if you're not paying heaps of money on mortgage interest.

I hope some of this is useful. Email me if you want some more specific advice.

Best wishes.

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