Love farm work, but want to produce extra income as a safety net to get you through the tough times and bad harvests? Enter, Farm Marketing.
Farming is rewarding work, but not having a set salary is a concern for many farmers across Australia.
Agriculture has changed a lot over the last few decades. Consumer demands have shifted; changes in government policies have affected the trade; technological advances and innovation continuously alter the agricultural landscape, and emerging environmental concerns mean big changes to the farming industry in the near future.
This article offers a way to explore options beyond conventional methods of income. Think beyond the traditional ways of farming.
This will be the most significant point we explore in this article because the possibilities are broad and can be tailored to your land and interests.
Agricultural tourism is booming. City dwellers and rural people alike love exploring a country property and getting a first-hand experience of what life is like on your farm, so take advantage of that and give them the opportunity they want.
Caravan Park Or Camping Grounds
You wake up each morning and see acres of stunning, natural scenery. If you love your land, chances are, so will other people.
If you’ve got a field or area which is not in use, consider transforming it into a camping ground or caravan park. Running a campground is a great way to get a few extra bucks and also share the beauty of rural Australia with others.
The scenery and access to nature at your campground is paramount. If your field runs along a clean river or overlooks a beautiful view, then you’re more likely to attract people compared to if you opened up a flat area of land in a hard to reach location. Running a campsite takes regular maintenance, and you’ll need to build a few amenities to get the legal go-ahead from your state’s government.
If you want to earn a bit more money, consider tapping into the glamping market.
The legalities and licencing around running a campground vary between states and regions. It’s best to check with your local council to see what you need to consider before starting. You may also need to acquire a licence from the ABLIS and a bushfire hazard assessment before opening your ground to the public.
Accommodation or Bed and Breakfast
The rise of Airbnb has made earning a reasonable income much easier for rural landowners. Make the most of the space you have available. An unused farmhouse or guesthouse would be perfect, but a spare room can work as well.
The amount of space you can offer guests will affect the income you bring in. Starting a B&B is not simple and may require a lot of planning, construction and work to entertain guests. But, if done well, you will be bringing in much more income than a campground or farm tours.
You get to decide how you market your accommodation service. Going through an accommodation business like Airbnb will recommend your farm stay to thousands of users – for a fee. You could also self-manage your B&B and handle the marketing, advertising and customer service yourself. While you save money on not paying the required fee, you are afforded much greater responsibility.
Hosted Accommodation Australia is a great resource to find guides on everything you need to know about setting up an accommodation business.
Your farm can be more than a place of work – it can become a destination hundreds of people want to visit. With enough work and a bit of investment, you can offer a family-friendly day trip.
Tourists want to get a taste of the farm life. If you’re happy to spend your spare days sharing your tricks of the trade with classes, then workshops or hands-on experiences is a great option. Tourists will pay for a variety of experiences from cheese making, to milking cows, picking crops and petting animals. You have the chance to share your hobbies here and impart wisdom to the next generation, perhaps inspiring a few kids to become farmers themselves.
There are no shortages of farm experiences, so be creative and see what services you can provide. You can run an educational workshop on how sugar cane is turned to sugar and run regular school excursions – or you could start a small petting zoo – if you have a passion for horses you could start a trail ride around your property.
Look at some of the best stays and take inspiration from that.
Parking or Storage
As a large-property owner, you have a commodity which many city people desire – space! Storage is a highly sought after service, especially for people in built-up areas. If your property is located on the outskirts of a populated city, you may be in the perfect market for storage or parking.
Building a new garage or clearing out an old shed will pay itself off if you can get a few people to pay to store vehicles or caravans until they need it. Cover isn’t necessary; a free hardstand may be enough for people to want to leave their motor home at your property.
Depending on how much time, money and research you want to put into your side-business, consider building some self-storage sheds. Australian self-storage businesses are booming and more and more people are looking for affordable places to keep their possessions for long periods. Accessibility and location are critical for this venture. You should be located roughly 20-30 minutes from a populated area and have clear signage or access from a main road to the storage site for maximum efficiency.
Providing both services come with legal requirements and insurances, so talk to your local council before going through with any plans.
Saving money is just as important as earning money. Agricultural technology has rapidly evolved over the past decade. Just 50 years ago people would still hire teams during the harvest season to harvest by hand. Now, what used to take 40 people, takes one machine, and it’s likely that in a few years, fewer and fewer workers will be needed to cultivate and harvest crops or look after livestock.
Autonomous robots which pick fruit and monitored digital barns have already started to be wheeled out across the world. Keeping on top of the latest technology may save you plenty of money at the end of the year. As much as we love the physical work we do, less labour means less expense.
The more innovative technology becomes, the higher the demand for knowledge will be. Take time to become an expert in specific fields of technology; it may pay off when other farmers look to you for help on current farming trends.
Don’t Just Sell Wholesale
There are several ways to sell products, and each has advantages and disadvantages. It may sound obvious, but selling at a farmers’ market is an opportunity for higher profit and reduces the shipping and handling time on your products.
We’re not saying skip the wholesaler entirely, but save a portion of the product for the weekend markets or roadside stalls. Here you will receive the entire retail price and also forge a connection with your local community.
In order to sell at farmer’s markets, you will usually need your own public liability insurance.
Look Into Remote, Part-Time Agricultural Work
The digital age means people can connect from anywhere in the world. As a farmer, you have unparalleled expertise in your field of work. Browse the job market or reach out to your connections to see if you can find any work as a rural column writer or content creator, or industry advisor.
There’s a unique market for Ag blog writers and copywriters. So if you have a way with words, maybe you could pick up work as a rural columnist or freelancer and share your insight with an audience.
If you have a knack for teaching and cultivating results from people as well as crops, then an advisor position suits your skills. These types of roles let you work from the comfort of your home, as long as you have a decent internet connection and a computer or laptop.
At Global Rotomoulding we are dedicated to helping Australian farmers and rural workers. We value education and strive to give farmers the best information available. Our tanks, products and custom rotomoulding services can help boost your agricultural business. Find out how by browsing our website, or by contacting us!