Why you should partner with a young farmer when buying farm land
You’re a city slicker looking for a classic investment, what could you possibly have in common with a hipster farmer? Believe it or not, a lot.
By now, most savvy investors know that buying farmland is an ideal venture that can be both a store of wealth and provide regular income in recessionary environments. However, the truth is, money is not a priority for the new crop of young farmers entering the field. These youngins are hooked on the lifestyle that farming provides – being outside, the allure of always doing something different, and working among nature by taking care of plants and animals.
That being said, they need someone like you because even though money isn’t necessarily the goal, a flourishing farm is. That is what the investor and young farmer have in common. You both want your big ole garden to grow.
Welcome to the machine
Let’s start by explaining the origins of a problem created by conventional farming. Back in the day, old school methods using machines, tractors, herbicides, and pesticides started to take over the farming industry. A handful of farmers began to monopolize the field, essentially pushing out farmers with more feasible ideas on how to tend to a farm.
Want to make a decent living off the hard work you put in on the farm? Good luck, because this trend makes it almost impossible for wanna-be farmers to get into the saddle because every year, the capital investment needed increases. Even kids who grew up on the family farm don’t see enough return on the investment to want to take over what their parents or grandparents started. The risk is too high, and the returns are too low.
Challenging convention and taking it local
Despite the challenges that come with a lack of support and financial resources, there is suddenly a new harvest of young people who want to become farmers. Since many of these whippersnappers weren’t lucky enough to have the family farm passed down, they only have one option: to do it ALL on their own.
So out of necessity, these hipster farmers are unwittingly on the way to solving a problem that has been brewing in the farming industry for way too many years. Since they have no money, they have no choice but to grow organic food, on a smaller scale, and then market/sell it directly to the end consumer. Which means the farmer gets to reap the rewards by taking in all the profits.
Believe it or not, your local farmer’s market is *almost* providing a living for those hipster kids who just want to be one with the soil. But not quite. If they could only scale up their hair brained ideas on sustainable farming…
You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip
So how can an executive partnering with a hipster farmer solve any of these worldly problems? It’s pretty simple, actually. Young farmers too often find themselves grappling with deep-pocketed land developers for limited resources. Access to resources and funding pose other problems. They don’t make getting a loan easy, especially for young college grads weighed down with hefty student loans.
Ultimately, it takes a decent amount of money to start a larger scale farm. To make money from a larger scale farm, it needs someone willing to care for it. Young new entrants to farming often find it challenging to raise the capital necessary to acquire and develop their new business. However, they are 100% willing to put in the work. You smellin’ what I’m steppin’ in? You buy the land. They do the work. You share the profits.
Reap what you sow, watch your money grow
We assume you have read so much of this article because you are an executive looking for ways to diversify your portfolio with an attractive long-term investment in farmland. However, wouldn’t it also be nice to have a place to store your quad? A place to bring friends and say, “My farm grew this!” Maybe even a place to get your own hands dirty when you need to get away from the office for a weekend?
Wouldn’t it be nice to know that your land (and ultimately your investment) is protected, maintained, constantly upgraded, and growing at a steady rate because you are personally connected to the farmer and the community? How about knowing that you are helping to change an old concept into a fresh one by providing a strapping young farmer with a place to cultivate your humongous shared garden?
How to meet your match made in manure
So the last question we need to answer is, “How can the executive meet the young farmer?” Since many farmers that go rural start with urban gardening projects, start by hitting up your local fringe agricultural associations that tend to attract young people (e.g., EFAO).
Another good idea is checking your free weekly hipster/art/community newspaper for organic food events. And get this, the organic food movement and awareness of fair trade is very much an urban initiative. In rural spaces, they don’t tend to have events on these topics, and it’s not in people’s consciousness as much. So meeting your new partner is even easier than you probably thought since you don’t have to leave the city to get your hipster networking on. Don’t you love it when a plan starts to come together?
Ultimately, you the savvy executive and young farmer need each other. Together, the possibilities are fruitful. Apart, the odds are stacked against you both. So head on down to your local thrift shop, grab one of them there flannel shirts (you want to seem approachable, right?), and get out there and find yourself an eager young farmer.
Trust me, your bank account will thank you later, your portfolio manager will be proud, and your peers will be green with envy as they are sitting down eating delicious fresh greens from your farm.