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Are you currently reading this under the depressing fluorescent lights of an office building? Do you wish you were outside, working the earth and enjoying the sunshine? Disillusioned with corporate America, many people are trading in their white collar jobs for a blue-collar life on the farm. But it’s not a simple transition. Managing a team in an office building is a far cry from tilling soil or herding sheep. (Well, it’s sort of like herding, I suppose)

Here’s how you can make the switch from your corporate job and into farming.

Do a trial run

The sunshine and fresh air make farming sound really appealing, but it’s not an easy job. If you want to become a farmer, make sure you know what you’re getting into first. Try doing small-scale homesteading at your home, whether you’re in suburbia or an apartment. Container gardening and even keeping a few chickens will give you a taste of what’s to come.

If you find you don’t like tending crops or caring for animals, farming might not be right for you. Instead, pursue homesteading as a hobby to get outside and decompress from your job.

If you really enjoy your trial run, farming might be for you!

Become financially fit

Farming comes with many upfront costs. While you can request grants from the government for assistance or take out loans, it’s best to get your finances in order first.

The best way to begin farming is to have all of your debts paid off. You’ll likely have to take on debt when starting up the farm. You’ll need equipment like a tractor, but it doesn’t come cheap! If your personal finances are in order first, it’s easier for you to secure the funding you need to succeed.

Make a plan

Some people purchase a tract of land and do whatever they feel like doing. But if you want to succeed as a farmer, you need to go in with a plan. How can you make the most of your land? Will you raise animals? Will you farm crops? How can you stay compliant with USDA and FDA guidelines?

Make a plan for how you’ll use your land. If you can’t afford to raise chickens now but you’ll want to later, include that in your master planning. You don’t want to run out of land!

And take some time to do a bit of research. Stop by our Resources page and get your new lifestyle off to a good start.

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These are great suggestions. I especially like the tip about doing a trial run. I grew up on a farm, so I knew what I was getting into when I started my own, but if you didn’t have that experience, all the work farming requires can come as quite a shock.

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