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Thread: Extra on farm/off farm income?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Southern Ontario

    Default Extra on farm/off farm income?

    So a little back ground, family dairy farm, milking ~170 with 3 robots and crop ~500 acres. I run the operation more or less and have 1 part time guy. My mom still helps with calves, and my wife helps as much as possible but little kids make it tough. We are trying to pay down debt and make other improvements so I dont want to pull anymore wages from the farm but I am looking for ways to make a little extras money for the family on the side. Not sure we want any more animals, but I do have an old bank barn coming empty and our old calf barn is empty that we can make use of.

    What are some ideas other people have to make some extra money for groceries basically? We asre very close to town, and half hour from a big city. I have thought about doing some welding in the shop but there are already a few farm shops around doing that. Im not overly mechanically inclined either. I also dont have time to be going to town to work, I dont want to loose time with the kids.

    Thanks for any input

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015


    With a farm that size don't even think of doing something else, concentrate on your cows and crops, you can loose a lot of money if you miss something there.
    It's hard to give advice when you don't know the situation but it looks to me that you can make plenty off money with a farm your size, especially in Canada!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    north-central virginia


    I agree with Grazy. That's too large of an operation to be worrying much about side hustles.

    One thing that occurred to me though, was raising beef. You mention empty buildings. Can you feed out some of your own steers, or fatten your own cull cows for direct-to-consumer sales? It'd be reasonably easy to scale into it, just starting out with a couple calves, and increasing in size as the market opens up.

    Another idea for empty buildings, is boat and RV storage. There should be very little extra labor involved in giving a city slicker a place to park his jet-ski's for the winter, or snowmobiles for the summer.

    One skill-set that would mesh well with dairy farming, would be small ag tire repair. If you have a decent sized ag community, and competition is minimal, it could work well. Designate a specific shed on your farm as a tire drop-off point, and have the customers jot down their info on a whiteboard. Try to have a scheduled hour per day that you work on the tires, and then call the customers to tell them the tires are done. They can pick them up whenever, and drop off payment in a lock-box.

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