Farming Base (farmingbase.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to them.
For many, farmers are composed of old, overall dressed men standing in a field with crops, animals, and plants as living materials. They are a picture of simple, hardworking individuals who have a significant contribution to our economy. Think about those dairy products, livestock, fruits, and vegetables you consume every day. Farming alone produces billions of dollars. So, for those still hesitant, being a farmer, rancher, agriculturer, or whatever you call it, is a lucrative livelihood. You don’t need to be an old man. Anyone can try this line of work and have your own share of dollars.
The American Farm Bureau Federation states that rural America boasts more than two million farms – with 97% being managed by families. It may leave you wondering what does a farmer does all day and how do they spend their time. Short answer…
Small farmers, they usually carry out much of the work physically, such as taking care of animals, planting crops, and plowing. While in the case of poultry farmers, they raise a variety of poultry products to sell. Their duties are actually varied, which will be tackled here.
Being a farmer involves loads of work. You will need to prepare yourself both physically and mentally for the highly demanding labor. And from planting to harvesting to tending animals, they all consist of intricate processes. But, did you know that farmers live an interesting life? It is one of the most rewarding jobs you could have! Several things happen on a typical farm, and we’re here to give you an idea of what a farmer’s day should comprise of.
What It Means to Be A Farmer
A farmer is someone who runs a farm that produces crops and livestock and then sells them as a wholesale or private sale to companies and individuals. He raises living organisms including animals, plants, and crops. Unlike typical workers, farmers have no workweek. They work based on what needs to be done. Either he owns the land and works by himself or simply a laborer who works on a family-owned farm.
Farmers usually start very early so they can finish the tasks as quickly as they can. Multitasking is an important skill. For instance, besides harvesting crops, they also have to prepare the land, do some planting, and pack the freshly picked produces. There are also checking the livestock, transplanting seedlings, and a lot more. Even before you go to bed, you still have a chore to pull off. It usually involves checking the animals and ensuring everyone is content and safe.
Sounds too tiring enough? Yes, life on the farm can be exhausting. However, the benefits still overweight. Imagine a relaxing life that’s free from environmental pollution. You could even save hundreds of dollars from buying personal necessities. And at the end of the day, you’ll feel happily contented knowing each work you accomplish provides food not only for your loved ones but for hundreds of families as well. If you will ask me, there’s nothing more satisfying than that!
Being a farmer also opens up numerous health benefits. They are actually known to be healthier and have a longer life. A study conducted by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics and the United States Department of Agriculture shows that farm families are consuming much more iron, protein, phosphorus, and calcium which our bodies crucially need every day. The situation is reversed for city families, especially for those who can’t afford to get an assorted and rich diet.
Your health is intact too. Men can have an average lifespan of sixty years old, while women can live up to sixty-two years. The death rates in rural areas are pretty low. That’s because farm people are less expected to contract digestive, circulatory, and respiratory diseases compared to city folks. The clean air, fresh nature, and sunshine in the countryside should we give credit to.
What Do Farmers Do on A Farm?
As have mentioned above, there are various types of farmers. Each carries certain responsibilities. Though, they are generally involved in managing farm labor, planting, supervising livestock, cultivating, and doing post-harvest tasks.
- Produces livestock, grains, fruits, and vegetables
Perhaps the most common type of farmer which most people are highly familiar with – popularly called the organic farmer. He produces grains, crops, and livestock without using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Instead, the living organisms are given access to the outdoors and fresh air. Artificial hormones and flavorings are strictly constrained when breeding livestock. Organic farmers and regular farmers share the same responsibilities. Except the former needs to check the soil conditions and maximize the biological efficiency of the land.
- Produces dairy products
Or what they call dairy farmers. Its principal duty is to oversee dairy cows so they produce an adequate amount of milk. Some own a cowherd while others work on a big farm either owned by a corporation or family. In addition to feeding cows, cleaning waste, and directing medication, dairy farmers are also responsible for ensuring all the milking and farming equipment is well-maintained.
- Raises cows for the production of dairy products
Known as the grain and forage crop producer who grows various types of grains and forage crops. These include wheat, canola, flex, and oats. Whereas for specialty crops, these could be birdseed, spices, medicinal crops, or others. The farmer cultivates, plant, use fertilizers and harvest the crops. He is also responsible for taking care of farming equipment and machinery.
- Raises livestock
From the popular livestock such as sheep and cattle to the less common ones like alpacas and elk, ranchers guarantee their safety and health. Just like managing a farm, raising these types of livestock that require a large amount of work. Ranchers are involved in maintaining the herd’s health and maintaining the ranch in general.
- Raises domesticated birds
Domesticated birds are comprised of geese, chickens, ducks, and turkeys. They are raised to sell their eggs and meat as well as for consumption. Chickens are what you can usually found on the poultry farm. Typical functions of a poultry farmer include providing feed and water, monitoring humidity and temperature, cleaning out the living area, and implementing certain hygiene standards.
- Keeps honey bees
People who keep honey bees are known as bee farmers or beekeepers. You may feel intimidated with this job, but once you get used to the tricks to stay the bees on loop and avoid those stings, you can earn a good amount. All you have to do is handle honey bee colonies whether in apiaries or hives. Then, harvest royal jelly, honey, or beeswax. Expect to become busier in the summer and spring seasons.
- Breeds and raises alligators
This may sound a lot more terrifying than keeping honey bees, but breeding and raising alligators could also help you earn those figures. It is considered a gigantic business in the US and even some parts of the world. Alligator farmers use the animal and its skin to supply meat, leather, and other goods.
- Breeds worms
Generating money and recycling wastes are what vermiculturists promote with its job. Worms are helpful allies in creating healthy soil and therefore producing nutritious crops. Farmers work by breeding the worms and using them to convert any waste products into organic fertilizer and soil. These wastes range from rotten foods to grass trimmings and more.
- Operates a wide variety of farming machinery
Most farms these days are highly automated. We have harvesters, tractors, and plows, to name a few. Not only farmers are required to learn and master how to operate that equipment and tools but are also projected to do some necessary repairs and maintenance.
Do you have what it takes to be a farmer?
Now that you’ve known bits and pieces about farming and still want to explore the unique possibilities, congratulations you made a good decision. However, think you have what it takes to become a farmer?
Remember that entering this occupation requires two important elements: money and dedication. Raising livestock or planting crops is no cheap. Unless you were born with gold in mouth, then good for you. But if not, you need to start from scratch and see where your luck brings you.
The good thing about farming is that you don’t necessarily have to earn a degree. A prior experience, either acquired from a family member, an experienced farmer, or on your own, is already a huge perk. You can attend campus or online classes to further expand your knowledge and expertise. It’s completely up to you.
Whether to work on an independent farm, corporate farm, or on your own farm is another concern you can decide. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. Although, the latter is much more favored as you can work for yourself, grow what you like, and get a high-security job. However, being an independent farmer also requires you to be a good businessman or woman. The inputs required may burn your pocket and the cash flow will constantly be a problem. You should know how to balance things or else, you won’t be farming too long.