GFP035: So you think you want to start a farm?

There is so much more to starting a career in agriculture than growing vegetables or herding cattle. It is a common misconception that anyone can farm. That is where the important distinction between gardening and farming comes in. To be a farmer takes true grit, a steel sense of resolve, and the willingness to smile in the face of any and every adversary.

Almost once a week I get a very inspired e-mail from someone who is today where I was a few years ago. My own thoughts were, "I am going to give up the City life and start my life as a farmer." I love getting these e-mails. That passion is contagious and I totally encourage it. That said, today's podcast deals with the reality of that decision as it plays out through my very own farm.

While I love what I do, and I will do what I can to encourage others to follow in my footsteps, my encouragement comes with a note of caution. Farming is way more than just growing vegetables. Most farmers who are making a living from the land spend more time doing paperwork than hoeing potatoes, moving chicken tractors, or herding cattle. They have other people to do that for them and they are dealing with the business side of things.

Now as a small farmer you are going to have to deal with weeding those rows of veggies AND the business side of the farm. The best advice I can give to those of you thinking to leave it all behind and reconnect with the land is to pump the breaks! There is a lot to learn and if you just jump into it you might find yourself in over your head.

Than again, you might now, sometimes you throw caution to the wind and what happens happens. There are different paths for everyone and you will end up choosing the one that is right for you.

I have laid out more of my advice and strategies on the How to Start A Farm section of this website.

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In this farm podcast you will learn:

  • The over-view of my year so far as a poultry farmer
  • What precautions to take when starting a farm
  • The insanity of running a farm, having a baby, and taking a second job
  • Hard decisions that we must face as farmers
  • How your career in agriculture should start like my daughter Mabel

Flying solo with me, John Suscovich

Farming is amazing, and I love it. For better or worse, I love it. While it is my name next to "owner" on my farm, FoodCyclist Farm belongs to way more people than just myself.

Without the support of Kate, Mabel, my family, friends, CSA members, volunteers, processing crew, and you all my dreams would not have come true the way they have this year.

I love what I do and I am going to continue to work very hard to ensure I can keep doing it in the future!

Items mentioned in this farm podcast include:

Take aways:

Is your passion worth waiting for to make sure it succeeds?

What can you do today to prepare for your new life tomorrow?


My skills are ever-evolving as an interviewer. Thanks for taking the time to listen in, and let me know what you think. You can leave a comment below, send me an e-mail, reach me on Facebook or Twitter, or leave a 5 star rating in iTunes if you liked the show.