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Organic Farm or College??? and What happend to the West?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by theghostandmrchicken, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. theghostandmrchicken

    theghostandmrchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    AAAAGGGGHHH!!!!! [​IMG]

    I have grown up with the idea of going to college, get an "education", and live my life as everybody else does.

    Recently I have been having second thoughts on going to college for a full four year term.

    I have this urge to kick my city-life goodbye, buy 150-250 acres and call it home and my Organic Farm.
    I'll have sheep, goats, chickens (Of Course [​IMG] ), cows, llamas, turkeys, organic wheat, organic corn, organic berries (all types), emus, ostrich, dogs (to help me out), organic tomatoes, organic apples, organic peaches, organic __________(enter food type here), and bees.

    I'll weld, blacksmith, lumber up trees, dig pounds (with a bobcat), build buildings, on my farm, and if I have time later, rest.


    *End Rant*


    About a year ago I watched Food Inc. and King Korn and started researching how bad the SAD (Standard American Diet) really is. I became an convert to the Organic movement.
    I have since then, joined BYC, got chickens, planted organic tomatoes in my garden, started to teach myself on how to weld, looking into how to blacksmith, read articles on the "Art of Manliness" on how to be a traditional firm Man (Love the site as much as BYC), studied Constitutional Law (One course), studying eastern and western medicine, running my own lawn and landscaping business, and thinking up on new organic products that I can make and sell to the public to help rid us of High-Fructose Corn Syrup.


    I'm pretty busy!


    I have been learning so much about society, myself, my family that I want to run my own Organic Farm Business. (I have the stamina for it)
    However, I do see that I need to get an education to support my future family and keep myself from being a leech to society but I feel (and afraid) that if I go to College (Long Term).
    I'll get burned out and be extremely pressured by co-students and teachers to "put away" my "silly" ideas of what I love to do.

    I do value college a lot however I am trying to decide whether or not it is necessary to go to a place that will teach me how to do things according to societies (Factory Farming) standards. (Which I DO NOT want)


    I would like your input, I know this is a lot, maybe a little unrealistic and not very organized how I typed up my "rant", but I'm not going to make this decision till little while yet but I do need to start thinking on "how I can do this" and "should I do this.


    Ugh, so much to think about, so little time.
     
  2. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where are you getting the money to purchase the land? If you don't already have $$$$ you might have to think on this awhile. I see nothing wrong with skipping college. What about trade school? Farming, especially small farm farming can be lucrative in the right market, but count on Uncle Sam to levy more onerous laws and regulations to make it almost impossible to beat Monsanto. That said, GO FOR IT! If farming makes you happy, then you should do it. Do your research, do your homework. If the farm doesn't work out the way you want it to, then you wind up with a nice piece of land and raise good food for your family and friends and continue on your landscaping business.
     
  3. BetterHensandGardens

    BetterHensandGardens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe go to college, and learn everything you can on farming; the accounting, the marketing, the animal husbandry, which crops/animals might be profitable, the growing (organic if you can find it), so you have as much knowledge as possible to make your organic farm a success. Go to school and learn how to compete with the big chemical factory farm industry.
     
  4. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

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    Austin area, Texas
    Go to college, take the business courses and agriculture courses, and get yourself set up so you can do what you want.

    Maybe attend a community college, for cheaper tuition, and bank the difference to buy your land. Try to find an internship with an organic farmer, it will help you learn what works and what doesn't in a real world situation. Do market research, decide if you just want to support yourself and a family or if you want to make a living on your farm. These are very different goals. Refine your wishes, and your goals. You can both go to school and work towards your goals.

    At eighteen you have a lot of life ahead of you. Learn what you can, don't pass on opportunities (like if your parents are willing to pay for college), find out where you want to be and what you want to do. Even if you go to college, at 22 you'll have a working life of 40+ years ahead of you. You have time.

    I just wanted to add, if this is what you are truly passionate about, four years of college won't make a difference. If you choose well, it will only make it easier for you when you start on your farm path.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  5. KenK

    KenK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    Georgia
    I went to trade school right out of high school and worked as a tool maker for ten years and then got a four year degree and work now as an accountant.

    Traditional college isn't the only way or the best way to go for many people.

    Around here a 150-250 acre farm is going to cost about a million bucks. Lots of farmers rent the land but it is still a huge capital investment to farm on a large scale.
     
  6. smileyfacecat

    smileyfacecat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    mom'sfolly :

    Go to college, take the business courses and agriculture courses, and get yourself set up so you can do what you want.

    Maybe attend a community college, for cheaper tuition, and bank the difference to buy your land. Try to find an internship with an organic farmer, it will help you learn what works and what doesn't in a real world situation. Do market research, decide if you just want to support yourself and a family or if you want to make a living on your farm. These are very different goals. Refine your wishes, and your goals. You can both go to school and work towards your goals.

    At eighteen you have a lot of life ahead of you. Learn what you can, don't pass on opportunities (like if your parents are willing to pay for college), find out where you want to be and what you want to do. Even if you go to college, at 22 you'll have a working life of 40+ years ahead of you. You have time.

    I just wanted to add, if this is what you are truly passionate about, four years of college won't make a difference. If you choose well, it will only make it easier for you when you start on your farm path.

    X2.

    I have been pursuing this method for about a year now, and it works for me. I attend a community college, where I take courses that I enjoy and that actually teach me something. The business courses, if you want to take them, can be done as an online course which may suit your hectic life. A Bachelors degree is not the only option, an Associates will get you a degree faster. There are numerous options as fair as employment goes, apprenticing is your best bet. If you were to apprentice there is a good bet that you will not only learn that specific trade, but you will be able to network now for future clients. Start small, take life as it comes, and don't stress out about the future, enjoy life.
    One more thing, owning a large farm is not always possible (at least not in my case), but look for farms that need live-in care takers, or ask a few farm owners who are selling farms if they may be willing to rent them to you.
    There are some people out there that will tell you that this career path will not support you or your family, or that you are just plain crazy - DON'T listen to them. Experiment now with different types of plants (even in containers), plan for worst case situations, learn how to barter for goods when times are tough, and make a few alternate budgets. Some money making options for farming would include: creating a CSA (start small and grow as you can), rent or sublet parts of your property to other people who wish to grow their own food, find your niche and market yourself (craigslist, local penny saver ads, online, at your local feed store), if you are handy, try to find machinery cheap or free and fix it up to sell (or keep).
    The important message I am trying to send here is that you really can do what you want with your life. Things may not always go according to plan, but don't let that deter you. This is your life. I would always recommend getting an education, but learn what you are truly passionate about. If, say, sustainability is what you would like to practice, check out this site: http://nesfp.nutrition.tufts.edu/. Tufts is a school here in MA, but they do offer courses online. I'm not sure what area of the country you live in, but I'm sure there is a college out there that can teach you practices that you want to learn. [​IMG]
     
  7. KenK

    KenK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    Georgia
    I'm not sure how relevant it is these days but a real interesting read is a book called "Five acres and Independence". Surely Google will reveal the author's name.

    What I think would be great is to have a small operation growing really nice produce/meat etc. and find a market with upscale restaurants. I think marketing is the key. Sadly for me I couldn't sell water in the desert.
     
  8. MamaRoo

    MamaRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A ferry ride away, WA
  9. Duker17

    Duker17 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would also add that not all college agriculture programs focus on industrial agriculture. The ag program I went through was based more on sustainable agriculture, which sounds more like what you would be interested in.

    Even if you don't go for the 4 year degree, many college classes would be beneficial. I had a year-long class in which we had to run a business. It started with brainstorming ideas, writing a business plan, securing financing, and everything you would need to do to start a business and then we had to actually run the business. It was by far one of the best classes I had for preparing me for "the real world." My group grew organinc vegetables, the other group raised free range chickens. It was amazing to see the differences between growing a garden for your own needs versus commercial production that you don't think about.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
     
  10. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

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    Austin area, Texas
    I also want to say that starting with a 100-250 acres is ambitious, especially if you haven't farmed before.

    I've belonged to a couple of organic CSAs. The first only had 7 acres, but they used it well. Now the land is being used with a group called Urban Roots, that teaches organic farming to city kids. The other farm started with about 20 acres and is up to 200. The have a CSA program and a presence at every local farmers market. They also have a network where they supply eggs, citrus and coffee from other organic suppliers.

    You can start small and then go larger. Here's an article on one of the farms:

    http://www.edibleaustin.com/content/editorial/editorial/661?task=view
     

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