Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Big, Small, Hobby?

So what kind of farmer are you? Are you a hobby farmer? Or a small-scale farmer? What's the difference?

Hobby Farmer
Means you don't make a profit. You're probably not sinking too much money into the farm (or hopefully you're not!), you may be selling a few animals, but mostly you keep what you like to have around. You may or may not have a balance sheet but if you do it's most likely in the red. You're growing things for fun & your family.

If you keep a pair of chickens in your urban backyard or have some patio potatoes, you're a hobby farmer. 

Small Scale
Made a profit last year? Welcome to small-scale farming! Whether you focus on one animal or have lots, small scale farmers care about a bottom line. You may not be living off the farm, but you should be making something even if it only covers hydro. If you're trying to make a profit, but loosing your shirt, it still counts.

You may have show animals or not, be more of a breeder then a farmer, or not; but if you've got livestock you're a small-scale farmer.

Medium Scale
Quit your day job? You're a medium scale farmer! You should no only be clearing income, but should be able to keep yourself employed above the poverty line ($25k a year in Canada). You may have lots of money invested in your business, but the size of your land does not dictate where you sit. So you can be a medium scale farmer on 5 acres of land, or 200 acres.

Large Scale
Living more then a little comfortably off the farm? Supplying grocery chains? More then one farm? Hundreds of head? You're a large scale farmer. And maybe that's just me sitting here on my little tiny farm, but I'd say if you're clearing more then 100k a year. This is the big times.

And large scale farming does not equate to "Big Ag".

Big Ag
Control inputs for more then a hundred thousand food producers?
Create so much waste that the back end of your production can be called a natural disaster?
Been featured, legitimately, on some animal rights group's propaganda with your normal practices?

We don't like you.

No comments:

Post a Comment