Your Field Guide to Farmland ownership and Country Living
Because whether you buy it, inherit it or marry in to it, living the simple life isn’t as simple as it seems.
There’s a Lot More to Farming than Just Growing Things
Agricultural land has the potential of being a long-term investment, a tax haven, a family retreat, a second home, or an additional income. Or it can be a marriage-breaking, feud-starting, bankruptcy-inducing, attorney-enriching screw-up with multi-generational consequences. Deciding if owning a farm is right for you is one of the most impactful decisions you’re likely to ever make.
If you’re looking for instructions on how to raise things, this isn’t quite the right place. There are a lot of good books out there on crop and livestock production. (We’ll include some recommendations on our “Resources” page.)
This is a place for those who are new to a rural living, or are considering rural living. It’s a place for those who marry into farms, or maybe inherit one. It’s for people who may want to farm in the future, but are most likely raising kids and developing careers right now. It’s for those who are looking out twenty years ahead, seeing where they are, where they want to be, and where they want their families to be.
We’re here to help you ask the right questions, so you can get the right answers.
How Working Lands Work
There are so many things you should be aware of if you’re thinking about buying, owning and managing farmland. Because it breaks down into three really, really, really big pieces.
Financial, Business and Legal
What is land use? Should I place my land into a conservation easement? Where can I find an accountant who understands agriculture? Should I lease out my land? We can help you with answers to these questions and more.
Technical and Practical
How wide should my driveway be? Where should I put it? What are the fencing laws in my state? What’s that piece of farm equipment? Why are their cows so loud?
Cultural and Historical
Why are those oncoming cars flashing their lights at me? Why are they always moving those tractors up and down the road? Why won’t they hurry up? And why won’t they plow my driveway?
If you read this blog, and use some of the information you gain here and decide that you’re really, truly ready to own farmland, then we’ve done our job. And if you read this blog and decide that a lake house is really a better option for your family, we’ve done our job as well.
Because nobody wants their farmland dream, to become a farmland nightmare.
If you’re designing a farm house for a working farm there are a few things you need to think about.
The mudroom looks completely different in the summer.Whenever I go onto Pinterest or Houzz, and type in "mudroom", there's all these beautiful white rooms with book bag hooks, and cute little cubbies and even the washer and dryer and I sort of ooh, and aah, and coo...
Knowing the difference between dairy cow and beef cow appearance and management can be important to you if you’re landowner leasing land to a livestock producer. Standard practices vary between the two!
In some parts of the country, buying beef directly from farmers is a realistic choice.
Most ground beef comes to us through the Cow Beef value chain, where older, unproductive cows go from the farm, to the sale barn, and then straight to a processing facility, bypassing the feedlot.