Many people have quite a romantic view of farming, normally people who have never worked on one or been involved with any type of farm or agricultural business. A farm is a multi-complex business, that can range from a very small acreage or smallholding to a multimillion dollar enterprise employing many different people.

Although the size of a business such as a farm can vary widely, many of the skills needed to run and manage a farm are similar whatever the size of the business. A farm is perhaps unique in some ways as a business in that it is often, if not always, inseparable in many ways from the residence and home life of the person or family running the farm. This raises special challenges as well as a number of unique opportunities for involving family members in the nature of the work being undertaken on the farm.

Governments are very keen to encourage people to go into farming both as a small business and as a form of employment more generally. There are a number of government schemes both in the US and Canada which aim to promote farming as a small business. These schemes offer some financial incentives by way of training, provide some type of mentorship for people entering the profession, and generally provide support and encouragement by way of long-term advice and help.

Many people wanting to enter farming as a profession are not quite sure where to begin. There are a wide range of options available, which can be both a curse and a blessing. It is a good idea to understand that the nature of farming can vary hugely.

One of the important considerations is what type of produce/feed you wish to farm, and what size of land you wish to farm your produce/feed upon. If starting out as a small business, it is a good idea to know the potential for growth, both in terms of being able to aquire more land if needed, and the likelihood of government support or help if needed as well.

Running a farm of any size will mean involving the family both in a home and a business life where there is little if any separation. This means that internal and external boundaries will need to be set and adhered to in order to create some semblance of family life aside from the business. In time it is likely that your children will want to be involved in the workplace.

This can be a very healthy environment as many young people work on farms, but can also be challenging in terms of changing the nature of your relationship with them.

In addition there will be many employment challenges as much of the labour required might be seasonal depend on where you live. You may need to provide accommodation for your employees. You will need to understand the seasonal fluctuations in income and expenditure, as well as having a sound grasp of all normal basic business practice.

You will need to have a strong understanding of issues concerning plant and machinery, as well as detailed knowledge of wide health and safety issues, as well as any local/state/federal legislation that may be applicable.
Health insurance may well be an issue you will need to understand and deal with. There are a number of rural health initiatives which can help minimise cost and provide better cover.

The essential skills needed for an entrepreneur who decides to run a farm or any type of agricultural business are firstly those that are needed to run any type of business in terms of management and financial acumen. In addition the challenges outlined above need to be challenges that the entrepreneur can embrace and turn to his or her advantage, and if they can, they can combine running a potentially very profitable business with a lifestyle that many people would wish to emulate.

Author's Bio: 

The author writes about issues relating to agriculture, farming and tractors, with a special focus on manufacturers such as Kubota and in particular compact tractors such as lawn and garden tractors.