You’ve decided that farming is the life for you, and you’re ready to become a full-fledged farmer. Farming and ranching can be a great adventure — as any experienced farmer or rancher will tell you. These three veteran tips will help you be successful as your start your own farm.

1. Becoming a Farmer Means Being a Lifelong Learner

Farming is a business, and smart business owners are always looking for ways to improve. Whether networking at the local feed store over a cup of coffee, attending a meeting held by the local extension office or attending a webinar, being a farmer means looking for new ideas in a variety of places. Always be on the lookout for innovative approaches to doing things — all with the goal of making your process more efficient or more profitable. Becoming a successful farmer or rancher means you’ll never stop learning.

2. Use Available Resources When Starting a Farm

There are countless resources available to farmers and ranchers designed to keep them connected to one another. Different farming apps and tools can help you stay in touch with what is working for people in your area. Resources are everywhere, and experienced farmers encourage newbies who are just starting a farm to leverage their local connections.

A few time-honored resources include:

  • Farm Bureau: Whether you are looking to learn, connect with other farmers and ranchers, or get involved and be a voice for the industry at the local, state or national level, joining your local Farm Bureau can prove to be valuable.
  • USDA: This government agency is devoted to helping farmers succeed. The website shares information about land management, food safety, educational opportunities and more.
  • Farm Aid: Farm Aid has an extensive network across the United States and connects farmers to the best resources in their communities. 

3. Stay Connected with Other Farmers

People who work alone may start to feel disconnected. Successful farmers are often those who cultivate a wide net of connections and friends in the industry. As you start your own farm, be sure to connect with other farmers and ranchers in your community.

This will allow you to build a network of people you trust and with whom you can talk, share ideas and help each other thrive. Social media is a great resource, but don’t rely solely on digital mediums to stay tapped into what’s going on. Visit a neighbor, take part in local associations, and step off the farm every once in a while.

Farming and ranching is an exciting journey! If you are just starting out, find a seasoned pro to show you how to become a successful farmer. Most experienced farmers and ranchers will also tout the importance of insuring your investment. Get to know your local Farm Bureau agent, who can help you with insurance for your farm or ranch.