Sam Marwood is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Cultivate Farms. A service matching aspiring farmers to their dream farm.
The farming dream is lying dormant in thousands of Australian’s hearts. We know this because we have heard from these aspiring farmers who sit at their computers looking out onto concrete daydreaming of open spaces, dirt and grass.
But squashing that beautiful dream into the lonely corner of their minds are harsh realities that are scary, overwhelming and persistent.
In reality, these realities can be easily over come and we want to promote and shout and announce that FARMING CAN BE A REALITY FOR ANYONE.
Perspectives that need changing
- I need >$1m
- I need to have grown up on a farm
- I need to know everything about farming
- I don’t know where to start
I need >$1m
Not anymore you don’t. Farms are expensive and they will stay that way. But it doesn’t mean that you need to fork up all the cash. You can align with someone who has the money but they don’t have the skills or passion to run the farm.
Someone like an investor.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of people and organisations looking to buy farms everyday. Their need is to put someone on it that is clever and passionate. This person looks and sounds a lot like you.
We recommend you throw in some of your own cash as equity so it shows that you are dedicated to the cause, but it is no-where near the millions that most people think they need to get started.
I need to have grown up on a farm
Not anymore you don’t. This attitude implies that the only way you can own a farm is if you inherit. See the point above for that answer.
Therefore, if capital is no longer a barrier, then what is? Skill, passion, hard work and energy. These are open to anyone.
We can’t wait for the day that we start poaching baristas, butchers, builders and bankers as farmers. We want to place the best people in Australia onto the land. The best might be kids from the farm, but they could be from any walk of life.
There are heaps of courses and people that can help you get farm ready, build your skills, build your practical knowledge. With time and patience you can be just as good as any aspiring farmer out there.
Now that you know you don’t need the cash or the bloodline, you should start working on how you get your skills up to scratch. Maybe a few after work online courses or better use of your holidays on farms learning the trade.
I need to know everything about farming
You need to know a bit; not everything. Every farm we help to match we will ensure there are advisors helping you the whole way. Sure you need to have skills that will make the farm thrive, but you will also have the best along side you the whole way to make this path easier.
See the point above about getting your skills up – we highly recommend this – but also know that you should pick the field of farming that you are passionate about and learn all you can and get all the practical skills you can so that you will be more likely to be picked onto your dream farm.
I don’t know where to start
It’s a good point. Do you just drive into a country town and ask at the pub? That would actually be a good place – a bit intimidating – but it could work.
What you should do is get on your computer and Google. Trawl Facebook, twitter and Instagram. Read stories of farms, farmers and farm issues. Find out what you are passionate about and find out who you agree with in their farm practices and values. Then reach out to them. You have plenty of hours between 6pm and 2am to trawl the whole agriculture industry.
While you’re at it Google courses that you want to start. A great place to look is on TAFE websites but also The Farm Table
Also reach out to Cultivate Farms. We want to hear from you and back you all the way onto your farm. It might take 1-5 years to get you on your farm, but if you have passion it will definitely happen.