Working off of the Farm

Depending on the size of your farm, the amount of help you have and how time-consuming each job can be, you may find yourself in a position (by choice or force) to be working another job off the farm. While this can be a challenge, it can also be a good thing. Here are some pros and cons of working off of the farm.

Cons:

It can take up a significant amount of time to do a job off the farm and also take care of the farm. This may mean very early wake-up calls and late evenings.

Your work clothes will be farm clothes if you aren't careful. While you may easily transition from office job to farm, your clothes will not. You may accidentally visit the barn in nice pants which will never see the office again...Keeping your professional clothes and your farm clothes and shoes separate is key!

Stress levels can be high with any job, but with two jobs, you may be overwhelmed. It's not easy to do both, so be mindful of your stress level and make sure you take time to relax when necessary.

This is not always a con, but to pull off this kind of schedule, you have to be really organized. Whether it's a family calendar, waking up earlier than you'd like or making meals a week in advance, being organized is a must if you want to balance life on and off the farm.

Pros:

You may find that you love your job as well as farming a little more. Being away from something, even for a little while, can make you appreciate the balance even more. The things you thought you didn't like may end up being something you miss when you spend less time doing it, whether that's milking or laundry or working as a teacher.

Depending on what you do, you may learn skills that translate to the farm and make you a better farmer and a more efficient one. Being a vet tech or a nurse may allow you to have an even better grasp of caring for livestock on your farm. Working in accounting or finance may make balancing your books easier. Being in administration could bring a new level of organization to your farm. Working in marketing could give you skills to take your farm to the next level. Whatever job you have, try to find ways to overlap and cross-train to help you be a better farmer and worker!

It could be a lunch break or your location closer to stores, a grocery, etc., but it's a great chance to take advantage of a different schedule. While it can be hard to be away from the farm, you may find running errands on your lunch break a little easier when you are in the city. Or you may be able to take a different way home and get those supplies you have needed. Time and location may be on your side, so use them wisely.

You have the opportunity to network that only comes by leaving the farm. You may meet people who are looking for fresh veggies or eggs that you can supply (and make a little money, too). You may meet other people in agriculture who can be resources for you in growing your business. There are many opportunities that don't fall into your lap and working with a different group of people could open up doors you never knew existed.

You will have a better cash flow. Because much of farming is seasonal, you don't get a paycheck every two weeks. Sometimes you spend a lot of the year spending money and have to wait until the end of the year to see the return! By working off of the farm, your income is more consistent which can be incredibly helpful to farm families.

Whether you are currently living the pros or cons of this list, having the ability to keep farming is the important part. If you need tips on balancing it all when you work off of the farm, check out this info!

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