Crowd Funding For Farmers

It’s time for this farm girl to get out of town.

I’ve been a backyard farmer for way to long now.

And I know I’m not the only one. There are many of you out there dreaming of both small and large farms of your own.

If only buying a farm were as easy as crowding funding is to filmmakers or authors for movies or books.

It’s so much cheaper to live in the city. It’s also so much nosier and so much more intrusive.

For the past seven years, this is has been my little backyard farm. The only thing I truly love about our house in town is our backyard.

backyard farmI wish it I could take anything about our home with us when we leave here, it would be this piece of our backyard. My dad and brother made the white gate into the garden, and I hate to leave it behind. I remind myself that it’s just a gate and the memory of making it is worth so much more.

As a senior in high school, I wrote up a business plan for our dairy farm. As a member of DECA – Distributive Education Clubs of America – my farm business plan landed me a trip to the national competitions that were held in Orlando, Florida that year. I know for a fact, no one else had a farm plan that year. I spent more of my time explaining the functions of farming then I had to explain and defend my business plan.

I guess it just goes to show that you really can make money in farming, or at least on paper.

Somewhere, I know I still have that business plan. OR at least I hope I do or that my brother kept his copy.

I always thought my brother and I would be running the farm together. How life has a way of veering us from the places we thought we would go, or not go. Yet, I have always carried the farm along in my heart.

Farming isn’t something you just do, it’s a way of life that gets into your blood and stays in your heart. Tweet This.

Our house went on the market at the beginning of this month. I don’t know where we are going. God love my husband, as I do, for going along on this journey. Our fifteen year anniversary is fast approaching, and when we got married he promised me I’d have horses again. I’m still waiting, dreaming, holding onto that promise.

I know there is no place for us on the family farm. Thanks to the new Amish neighbors there is no place for us to buy land or a home. Even if we could afford a farm.

Most large farms cost about $500,000 to $1million. That doesn’t include the equipment or the cows. Horse farms can range around $300,000 and up. Even if I worked full-time and with my husband working to raise our family, reality is we could never afford a farm. I would need to sell more books than I could count, and even though that can happen, (because I do believe in miracles) I also know my husband is allergic to animals. I also know that by the time I could afford a farm I would be too old to enjoy the labor and efforts to see it grow. By then my children would be on their own and have no ties to this kind of life.

Even with a business plan, a bank would never grant that kind of a loan while raising a family and living off a teacher’s and writer’s salary.

Reality bites.

Practacalty kicks in, so for now I’m praying for a 3-4 bedroom house, on an acre or two of land – just big enough for a horse, maybe a potbellied pig, and space to grow a garden that is outside of town where there are no cars flying past the house every minute, or people yelling across the street to one another or throwing trash in my front yard. Just peace and quiet and a little bit of a farm that I can call my own.

Perhaps one day there will be crowd funding for farmers. Instead of offering a signed copy of a book or naming a character it could be like naming the calves, or claiming a cow on the farm (like adopting them but the always stay on the farm.) Or perhaps getting names recorded down the side of the barn to show the support of a community helping one farmer’s dream turn to reality. Or the dream of a farmer’s daughter.

What do you think, will crowd funding farms work or ever exist?

Until then, there are other farmers in other countries trying to expand and feed their families on Kiva.org. This is a place where you can loan like $25 toward the money needed by the individuals there to give them the funds to take the next step in providing for their dreams and way of life.

This story, a woman named Gulshaiyr  caught my attention recently. She’s trying to raise money to buy a bull and cultivate her land so she may continue to provide for her family and see that her children are educated.

It makes my own longing for a farm small in comparison to her simple need of one bull to rise her up another step toward her goals for her family.

So for now, I will live my dreams of farming through those I can help.

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