5 Creative Ways to Buy A Farm

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Do you dream about buying a farm, but don’t feel like you can afford it? Here are 5 affordable ways that you can buy a farm (or at least live on one), and create your own sustainable lifestyle!

If you’ve been dreaming of owning your own farm someday, you’ll be happy to know that there are more options available than ever before for small farmers looking to buy a farm – or just live on one. While real estate prices have continued to rise in recent years, some young farmers have gotten creative, and designed their own strategies for owning farmland (or at least feeling like they do).

Living sustainably means different things for different people, but for many, the thought of owning a small farm of their own is the ultimate goal. For others, simply living the lifestyle may be enough.

Living on your own sustainable homestead doesn’t have to be a far-off fantasy any longer! Here are 5 unique strategies for making your dream a reality:

1.) Renting

Plenty of people take the obvious route: securing a lease. Given the time required to build a business from the ground up, you’ll want one that lasts at least three years. Although that length might fit the bill for someone focusing on a crop that requires little investment (think microgreens in a hoop house), a long-term contract (decades or more) provides real security. Also worth a look: lease-to-own options…

2.) Land Trusts

These nonprofits prevent market forces from driving farmland prices above their agricultural value, often through conservation easements. Then, they sell or lease that protected land to farmers for pennies on the dollar…

3.) Land Transfer

It’s no secret that American farmers are aging and that their children are largely uninterested in taking over. Transfer networks match retiring landowners with young farmers and help them navigate a transition of ownership. After a brief training period, sometimes involving a short-term lease, the novice purchases the operation at a low price and takes over…

4.) Farm Incubators

Like ag training wheels, these organizations provide land (which participants rent for next to nothing) and guidance to hopefuls with at least three years of farm experience and a solid business plan. Selected applicants benefit from existing infrastructure, classes, markets, and more…

5.) Farm Management

Salary. Health care. A retirement plan. There are real benefits to not being your own boss. Universities, nonprofits, community groups, even restaurants might hire a farmer to oversee their crops. While these positions allow for a certain degree of autonomy, the manager ultimately answers to someone else (often an institution or board of directors)…

For more info + helpful resources on all of these options, check out the full article at ModernFarmer.com


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