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How to Start a Farm with No Money


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We all have aspirations and desires in life, and as much as we wish we were never focused on things we couldn’t achieve; it is in our nature to literally always want more.

Because of this want for more we can actually end up in those awkward situations known as “the quarter life crisis”. This is when you realize you’ve been swimming against the tide the whole time and that you’ve been doing the opposite of what you’ve really wanted all along.

But luckily this isn’t always the case because for the most part it’s not about what we can’t do, it’s more so about what we don’t do on the long run.

The truth is that you can always make it out there, you just need to take all the possible routes into consideration and pick out the one that suits you the most. You might be thinking that it’s impossible, but whenever you think so just look at Canadian rhythmic gymnast Ashley Wilwand.

She didn’t have enough money to make it to the World Games so she had to make a decision: Either give up her dream and aspirations or start working for it. So, guess what she did? She started working at Walmart to make the money for the trip and guess what, she eventually made it on the stage and won.

So, today we will be talking all about how you can start a farm when you don’t have any money in your pockets. The truth is that many people give up around this stage, but you won’t, you will succeed regardless of how many figures you got in your bank account.

Without further ado, let’s start off with the first step in starting your new life as a farmer:

Get Experience from Another Farmer

Get Experience from Another Farmer
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While owning your very own farm can be quite costly, the truth is that you can easily cut down on these costs by simply learning from the best so you don’t make any of the mistakes that everyone else made when they started off.

So, go to your local farmer and ask to help around the place, perhaps try to get a permanent job there so you can really learn the ropes around the place but if you don’t have enough time do so just ask if you can be a help around the place in your spare time.

At first this might seem like grueling work for no real payout, but with every passing day you’ll learn more about what you’ll need and what you can expect from the job.

Many people don’t take into consideration the time, effort and resources that are needed to start up as a farmer. They think you can just hire other people to do the job for you and get on with it but trust us, it’s not that easy. Just look at Jeremy Clarkson and his farm series.

On top of that you can also make friends with the farmer, which may seem quite strange to write off as an objective in all of this, but remember that you will not be alone on the market. A lot of the time, farmers need to help one another either with the trading of resources, sharing information from agriculture books or magazines about farming, or just generally helping each other around the place.

Being part of a community will really help you out, and once you do end up starting up your farm you can also ask for help in terms of resources too. We can’t really promise you that they will help you out, but hey, it can’t hurt to try. Generally, farmers can be pretty nice people if they see you genuinely have a passion for the craft.

Look For Deals on the Market

Farming Equipment Deals
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Certain equipment will never come cheap and we know that, which is why starting up your farm is not something that we recommend to people that want a job with no risks involved. The truth is that you will always need to purchase stuff and most importantly, you’ll always have to manage your tools to see what is faulty and what needs to be replaced.

So, how can you do that with as little of a budget as possible? This part isn’t easy but it’s your best bet, and that is the fact that you’ll need to spend a lot of time on the market looking for the best deals you can find.

This does mean that you’ll have to purchase doubles as well, stock up on the same farming tools and resources because you never know when you’ll find a better deal than that.

Pay very close attention to which items are for sale and purchase as much as you can when you see that someone’s really looking to sell their stuff at a cheap and convenient price tag.

To do this you can also look into the local paper or better yet, check out the internet to see whether you can find any great deals to take advantage of.

The only problem with this part is that there are plenty of people looking to scam you so you’ll really need to up your game when it comes to checking out the validity of the items. You might waste a lot of money on the gas to see whether the items are worth it or not, but at the end of the day a good purchase will save you hundreds of dollars so it’s definitely worth it.

Start Purchasing Livestock Young

Start Purchasing Livestock Young
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Most people on the market believe that if you’re looking to start up your farm you’ll need to purchase the highest quality livestock at the peak of their production. This means that people will only be looking for premium cattle, horses, goats or pigs.

Instead of going for those you should go for younger animals as they are way cheaper to purchase and they are also cheaper when it comes to feeding and taking care of them as well.

So, try to buy some young calves, maybe go for some lambs, mini cows or chicks while you’re at it. They’ll soon be growing up and you’ll fetch quite a lot of money off of them as they do.

The budget you have is all that you can really use so don’t expect to purchase the highest quality of livestock out there. Keep yourself limited to a certain price tag otherwise you’ll end up bankrupt in no time.

Also don’t purchase too many animals at once, you do not want to end up not having enough money to feed them. This can easily lead to you being sanctioned off or even sent to prison if you’re not careful.

Purchase a Good Truck

Purchase a Good Truck

For as cliché as this can be, there literally is no better car out there than a good old pickup truck for you as a farmer by trade. Sure, the truck can be quite expensive, and we don’t recommend going for the cheaper ones either, but just remember that this will be your go-to vehicle for any and all road up ahead.

The great thing about trucks though is that you don’t need to spend a lot to get a lot from them. The trick is to just always go for an older model that is still in great condition.

There are plenty of people out there looking to sell their older models simply because they want to save up for a new one and because of it they’re willing to half the price tag for you.

And as mentioned previously, the older the model is, the cheaper it’ll get but that doesn’t mean that it will be a bad purchase for you. Trucks can last a lifetime and a half and that’s a fact, so just because a truck has a few years under its belt that doesn’t mean that you should avoid it and go for a newer model.

They are built to last, and they will not give up on you just because they’re a couple of years older. The great thing about it is that its parts will also be cheaper the older the model is, so you can easily save up a lot of money in doing so.

So, just to reemphasize this part, never settle for the cheapest new truck on the market, instead go for the older model that is still up for the task at hand that you can get for a more reasonable price.

Never Loan nor Borrow Anything

Never Loan nor Borrow Anything
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The best part about being a farmer is that you can get by with very little and you can make a lot of money in the process. What many people don’t realize however is the fact that when you do get equipment for yourself, you get it for life so don’t loan it to anyone.

Your equipment is the basis of your whole workforce, so don’t even think about giving anyone your stuff unless there’s a reason behind your decision. Unless you’re really going to profit from a loan, never give anyone your tools because you never know what they could do to them nor how this could work out for you.

While on this subject, also never borrow anything from anyone. This does cover money as well, since there are plenty of people out there that believe that the answer to every problem is to just borrow money from the bank or someone close, but remember that there’s always a catch when it comes to this.

You don’t want to be responsible for anything, and even if you weren’t the cause of your neighbor’s equipment breaking overnight just because you used it a month ago that doesn’t mean you’ll ever get to live past that accusation.

You can literally go to court because of this, or you can have the community turn their backs to you just because they believe you broke their stuff and you made a mockery of it.

So, as painful as it may be whenever you see how much you could do with that equipment on you, remember that the payout doesn’t justify the risk as you can easily end up losing a lot of money and you can even lose your whole reputation if you’re not careful with this.

Stock Up on Everything

Stock Up on Everything
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Even before you start working as a full-time farmer you should make your way through auction houses and you should check out as many deals as possible to make sure you spend as little money as possible on the items on the market.

This part is a bit on the trickier side of things as you can also end up buying bad equipment and machinery if you’re not accustomed to what makes or breaks a deal. This is where the first step of this article will come in handiest.

Always check up on other farmers to see what their equipment and machinery looks like and base your own purchases off of that. So, collect all that you can, whether this means animals, machinery or even just resources in general, you should make sure that you’ve got everything you need before you fully start working as a farmer.

This can take you a year, maybe two or even three if you’re especially slow and patient with your purchases, but once you do go live, just look at all these steps you just skipped over just because you didn’t want to rush into the business world right off the bat.

You need an extra tool for that? Good thing you have one in the back. Oh no, the pickup is not starting up! Wait, I’ve got an extra one on the side to make sure I can continue by business. That’s what you want your experience to go like, and as mentioned previously, this is going to really save you a lot of money as well since you won’t need to panic buy anything either.

Rent Out the Best Farm for You

Rent Out the Best Farm for You
Chris Ensminger / unsplash.com

This part is similar to the first step again, as you will need to find the best spot for you to start up your business in and you will need to become as friendly as you can be with the landowner so that you two can really work well with one another without any problems.

So, go ahead and fix that fence up for him, mow the lawn, pick up all of that garbage off the ground even if it’s not yours. This will end up helping you a lot on the long run, as the quickest way to fail as a business man is to get on the bad side of the person that owns your land.

You can’t afford a relocation so you will need to really prove yourself a worthy investment for the landlord’s time and money. This might mean that you’ll need to do some grueling work for the right to use this land as you see fit, but it’ll all be worth it in the end, trust us.

Look Into Possible Grants

Look Into Possible Grants
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In order to cover a lot of the costs that come with the new farming life you will need to do a lot of things you would overall not be all that okay with doing in the first place and that’s okay.

However, if you want to make it past this phase with a limited amount of money at your disposal you will need to look into the many grants that you can get along the way.

So, look into any possible government grants that you can think of, look trough the USDA National Institute and Agriculture’s list to see if there’s any openings for you. Carefully look through the requirements over there so as to not make any unnecessary applications you don’t qualify for in the first place.

You can also hire a professional grant writer while you’re at it because they can really make or break your application for the most part. But remember to only trust reputable sources, you don’t want to lose any chances because you wanted the cheaper option and they didn’t deliver as promised.

Here are the grants you can apply for if you’re planning on starting up a cattle farm:

Here are the grants you can apply for if you’re planning on starting up a farm and you’re looking to purchase land for it:

  • Grants From Uncle Sam
  • State Grants to Farmers
  • Private Foundation Grants


Regardless of how you choose to start up your farm, you should never give up on your dream just because your pockets are running a bit dry. The fact of the matter is that this is a business in which anyone can succeed as long as they’re trying hard enough to make it so don’t be discouraged by the large price tags.

There are plenty of ways to lower that price, and you can easily make it if you’re smart enough and you follow all of the steps we displayed above. So, good luck with your start-up, and don’t forget to never lose that passion that made you start in the first place!

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About Leah Shelton

Involved in the “green” arena for over 20 years, Leah has worn many hats due to her diverse experience and knowledge in the field. In addition to writing for Agronomag, she’s also a sustainability consultant with a unique perspective on eco-friendly farming practices. Learn more about Agronomag's Editorial Process.

8 thoughts on “How to Start a Farm with No Money”

  1. I don’t know if this is satire or what, but almost every part of your list includes buying things. So you’re saying to start a farm with no money, step 1 is get money. You could rename the article “How to Start a Farm with Money”

  2. I would like too own a farm for livestock,have 80 cows and 180 sheep’s.There was a farm in Zastron that was sold by 2,2 million I love it,but couldn’t not qualify because I did not have that amount of money.I would be glad if you can assist me.

    • I live in sweden there is the land ”mass” ”Valsta Gård” 939 acres of Forrest, Hunting, fishing, functional agriculture, 7 family homes, 4 summer rentals, horse stables. All for 6.6mil! I have about 0.04% of that and no experience, just a dream of getting out of this ridiculous world of must haves. Live off the land and learn to respect it through holistic farming.Who’s with me?!

  3. This article was only of use to someone who knew zero about farming, and even then barely a basic primer. The author did not address the title issue at all. Currently rural land values are totally out of reach to the average person. $100,000 an acre. WTF?

  4. I have a multi acres of land but no money to farm on It I need someone to partner with who can help in terms of money


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