Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What Some Opportunistic Farms Have Done to Increase Income

A friend recommended a book I’ve since bought because I found it so intriguing.  You might, too.  It’s actually a newsprint magazine type of about 95 pages, called Money-Making Ideas to Boost Farm Income.  I am going to list some of the ideas for you.  I won’t elaborate on them much, but if you want more information or want to get the publication for yourself,  (under $15) just email me for details. 

Though you may not be able to use these ideas for your own farm, they are meant to inspire you to think creatively! 

Zebra Ranching:  They can go for $2500 to $10,000 each depending on many factors.  Buyers are movie production companies, novelty pet owners, and zoos.   

Ears of Corn painted to look like a flag.  Sky’s the limit on possibilities. 

A farmer in Wisconsin started a prebuilt cabin business.  He and staff build them in a building, then disassemble, transport and set up at the buyers place.
A North Dakota woman started a cow milking service, giving dairy farmers a chance to get away once in a while.
A Florida farmer began a side line during the fishing season of raising crickets which are then sold through bait shops.  Another raises worms for the same purpose.
A German farmer milks horses and sells the milk to soap makers.  Apparently the milk is high in hormones so it is highly prized for $20 a pound soap to make skin younger and softer.
Tawanda Farm in California, run by two women, sells half and whole lamb meat  packages and half and quarter steer meat packages plus small specialty meat packages—all by mail. 
An Oregon farmer raises bamboo for the shoots, and for winter fodder for animals (20% protein) and alternative wood products.
Another Oregon farmer raises Caracal Cats to sell as pets.  They go for $1500 to $2000, at least in 1997.
If you already have skills with fiber, here’s an idea.  A Washington woman will spin and knit or felt pet hair into clothing, rugs or wall hangings for people.  Mostly dog hair but also chinchilla, wolf and cat.
A Virginia farmer (in 2003) turned 2.5 acres into $125,000 in income by careful growing and marketing of chile peppers and a few herbs.
A Louisiana farmer raises alligators for meat and hides, and red-ear slider turtles for the eggs.
Different types of animals raised for profit—wild boars in Minnesota, Zimbabwe cattle in Texas, and Yaks in Colorado, all white deer in Pennsylvania.
Potato grower in Idaho specializes in old time varieties, many of them from the 1800’s.  He sell spuds, and seeds.
Woman in Minnesota started a jam and jelly business to use the wild plums found on their farm.  Her varieties are all natural and low sugar including some no sugar varieties.  The family hosts a Harvestfest in October with pumpkin painting hayrides and other activities.  Hey, I’ve been saying to do this!
An Iowa farmer created a pet cemetery and now includes horses.  He’s expanded to include cremation.

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