GFP040: What I earned as a pastured poultry farmer in 2013

Life is a series of successes and failures. I judge my year farming in 2013 to be a success for a number of reasons. I was able to build a farm business without going into debt.

Now, that comes with a very important clarification. I did find off farm income to help pay my rent, pay for my car, and cover some of my other bills. When I say that I was able to start my farm without going into debt I don't want you to think I supported myself completely from on farm income the first year. That's a little crazy.

When anyone starts any business it takes a while for the business to become profitable. I see that as the least taught lesson with people starting a farm or just getting into agriculture. There is always an exception to every rule, and everyone's situation is different. All I'm saying is that unless you have a huge savings account, keep your job when you try and start a farm.

In this episode I share exactly what my numbers are, down to the last cent. While I did my best to track my inputs and outputs there were flaws in my system that I am fixing in 2014.

Besides starting a farm it was a big year for me. My daughter Mabel was born, I bought a car, started a job outside the farm, and moved twice. I also created and solidified an online presence including blog posts, social media, this podcast, and an eBook. That is a lot to fit into one year.

So am I going to kick back in 2014 and relax? Heck no! I'm going to try and out-do myself in 2014. I have an aggressive plan for the farm I am managing now as well as my online content. The pressure was on last year, and it continues this year.

One of my favorite quotes of all times is from Leonard Bernstein. "To achieve great things two things are necessary, a plan, and not quite enough time."

In this farm podcast you will learn:

  • What my gross and net numbers were for 2013
  • What I plan to do with that information
  • How knowing what it costs to farm benefits you
  • Things to keep in my when starting your own farm

I have found a true love in agriculture. Yeah yeah, my wife Kate and my daughter Mabel come before work. That's a given. I do realize however that our lives cannot always be vacation and that I need to do something to support my family. If I am going to have to work just as hard as everyone else is these days I might as well love what I do and eat well.

Farming is an ancient and noble profession. But at times, it awful. There are ups and downs just like anything else in life. If you are smart, dedicated, passionate, and willing to create a few spreadsheets when you're not seeding or planting you'll be alright!

Items mentioned in this farm podcast include:

Take aways:

How do you plan to balance life and farming? Believe me, it's not easy.

DO you feel like you have a handle on your numbers? Where is the money going?


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.