Why are farm businesses so often inflexible?


Farming is often seen as a way of life rather than a business, especially by the old-fashioned smaller farmers.

We often cling to these traditional ideas and see them as more important than profit or even viability. Does the scene on the left command enough demand that people want to pay for it though? Most farm parks I see are full of climbing frames, cute baby animals and ice cream, not traditional farming practices. Do other working people who have their own way of life owe a way of life to someone else?

It’s interesting that when one digs deeper into enterprises one often finds that the small farmer selling at the farmers market or rearing the rare breed pigs is an ex-banker or marketer who has either bought a farm, married into farming or is a small holder (with little historic subsidy payments) making more profit than the 600 acre farm down the road.

It’s a shame that government subsidies have drained the entrepreneurial spirit for so many. Owner occupied farms are blessed with a strong capital position from which to start and yet many still just produce commodity products on a small scale – supported by the subsidies. Taking the market price rather than creating something worth more to people and adding value themselves that they can take out of the business (or re-invest it) as profit. It’s no wonder these small farms are not viable without subsidies.

Considering their capital position there really is no excuse. Why don’t they do it?

Because they don’t have to.



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