Starting a Farm in Ontario - Business Information Bundle for New Farmers

New Farmer Self Assessment - Am I Suited for Farming?

Regardless of the new business or venture, the first thing you need to ask yourself is - am I becoming a new farmer as a hobby or as a business? A hobby or lifestyle farm may suit your needs and personal values, but if you wish to make a suitable income (after expenses) from your farming operation it has to be planned and run as a business.

Here are some key self assessment questions to consider before becoming a farmer:

  1. What are the main reasons I want to own and/or operate a farm in Ontario?
  2. What are the pros and cons of me starting a new farm?
  3. Do I have the personal and business skills to take on the challenges and opportunities that becoming a farmer will require - and if not, am I willing to seek out the necessary advice and skills?
  4. Does my personality suit the farming lifestyle that often includes waiting several years to see a return on investment?
  5. If necessary, am I prepared to lower my standard of living to start the farm?
  6. Am I prepared to work long hours and weekends to make the farm work?
  7. How will I handle the seasonality of the work?
  8. Is this the right time to start a farm based on my life and on the industry?
  9. Have I discussed my farming idea or proposed plan with an advisor and considered any advice?
  10. Do my family and/or friends support my farming idea and will they support me in becoming a farmer?

While assessing your unique situation, be open and consider the comments and feedback you receive from others. If you still question whether farming is right for you, consider building the skills you would need to start the farm or draft a detailed business plan for your farm. This can help build confidence in your decision.

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