Off-Farm Income



There is a multitude of obstacles to entering farming, growing your farm, and becoming profitable.  And, there is an old model of making it work, that carries some pretty risks - debt.  Using debt to purchase your farm, purchase equipment, cover operating costs, or procure livestock is the norm in farming.  The problem with debt is that you have to service it, and it can control you as well as the decisions you make on your farm.

So, what are the alternatives?  That is what we strive to offer on this show, week after week.  We choose to interview guests who have small businesses that we believe might work for you and become a key component of your overall strategy to make it as a farmer.

Occasionally I run across an opportunity that is outside the parameters that we have defined on the Off-Farm Income Podcast.  When one of these opportunities looks like it could really help you to succeed in farming, we want to bring it to you, regardless of our focus on entrepreneurship.  Even greater than teaching you about the opportunities that entrepreneurship offers to you is our goal to see you be able to farm for a living.

Today's episode is one of those moments.  Our guest today, Austin Maness of Harvest Returns, talks with us about alternatives to debt and another funding source through investment.  Austin has a farming background and a really interesting path that has led him to become the chief operating officer of Harvest Returns.

In his current role, Austin looks for opportunities to match investors with farmers who need funding.  It is a very interesting concept both for the farmer as well as the investor.  While this interview was more focused on benefits and risks to farmers, we touch on the investor side of things as well.

There was a recurring theme in this interview, and that is that every project of this type is different.  In some cases, Austin deals with several investors with a few thousand dollars to invest, and they want to be involved in agriculture.  In others, he is dealing with investors with hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they have their eye on one segment of farming.

It was clear through the interview that the opportunities for farmers as well as investors are kind of limited only by their imagination with this model.  Harvest Returns is a one of its kind, first in the field company that has identified this strategy of funding farms.

Towards the end of our interview, Austin said something that really stuck with me.  To paraphrase he said, "perhaps there is a person that comes from farming but is stuck in a cubicle and wants to go back.  We can help that person get started".

If you are going to shift to this lifestyle, you need all the tools you can have in your financial tool belt.  It will be very worthwhile for you to learn about this one today.