Farmers presently have many financial issues, especially due to the rise of plant-based eating and supermarkets that pay peanuts. But rather than sit over your soup and cry, know there are some wonderful alternatives that you could use to diversify your income. You could possible earn more money, and also keep long-cherished family farms in the same hands, while making life better for you and your animals, if you’re a livestock farmer.
You don’t always have to grow food to create additional income. You may not have much money, but as a farmer, you likely have land, which many people don’t have. Here are a few ideas to help you. Also see how to help our small farmers for details on charities that can offer practical advice and financial help (including free feed for animals, if needed):
Hemp (it won’t get you high like cannabis) can be locally grown. So it’s great to make rope, paper (acid-free so won’t yellow with age), omega oils and beauty products. It’s also good to make locally-grown sustainable fibres for clothing. Warm in winter and cool in summer, it’s also used for bedding.
- Transfarmation is the art of transitioning animal farms over to grow oat milk and local sustainable foods, leaving animals to live out their lives in peace. This not just helps them, but you’ll likely earn more.
- Use your land for green burial sites, outdoor weddings, music festivals and film shoots. Or you could consider portioning off land as secure dog walking fields (read how to keep dogs/livestock safe).
- One company in Wales pays sheep farmers for the poo (!) and blends it with recycled paper to make unique greetings cards – Birthday Bleatings and I Love Ewe!
- Spruce up outbuildings then rent as holiday lets at Farmstay. Ensure your farm is free from toxic plants and other hazards (some may not accept pets, due to livestock). You can also help children get to know and learn about barnyard friends.