Every journey has a beginning, a starting point. Your's starts here, today, now. Farming is a vast topic with a million subjects. I need you to know there is no one way to becoming a farm operator and owning your own farm business. The path winds and twists with all kinds of roadblocks.
How badly do you want to farm? How badly do you want to watch the sun set over your own back forty acres? What are you willing to give up for this dream? This dream is possible if you have the three ingredients...
Bringing an open mind and a willingness to learn is the best start
In today's world, nothing is black and white, it's mostly shades of grey. Farming has changed a great deal even in the past decade. It is not your parents' world anymore. If you are willing to learn from all kinds of sources and think outside the box, you'll find a place for yourself as a farm business owner eventually.
As a young farmer, looking at niches and specialties with an open mind might present you with an opportunity you did not previously think about. Check out the Overview below for ideas.
Farming is a long term game and you will need a long term view.
Farming is pretty much a hurry-up-and-wait situation. It's a huge rush in the spring to get everything planted and then you'll be waiting months for harvest. The ability to plan ahead is going to be vital to your survival as a farmer. Starting with plenty of patience and knowing that your journey is going to take a while will make parts of it easier.
You will be frustrated, possibly lose hope at time but I hope you will hang in there. You'll need the patience to plan, to think ahead and if you intend to have livestock... you'll need plenty of it when sorting and handling. If you are curious about another way to start your farming journey that might be a touch faster, check out Owning without Operating.
Pick a non-farming occupation that pays well
Here's the ugly ingredient, you probably already felt a bit of annoyance just clicking over here. It's a sad fact but I have yet to meet one young farmer that did not have an off-farm source of income (and yes, that includes yours truly). In fact, 47% of Canadian farmers report having non-farm income and over 60% of those are working full-time off-farm (StatsCan Ag Census 2016).
To start and buy a farm is a costly endeavor these days and you need a stable off-farm income source to get started. I've prepared some further guidance below on how to tackle this Numbers Dilemma.