Urban farming can be divided into 3 categories – categories which may or may not overlap. Having an idea of the category your urban farm (or potential urban farm) falls into is helpful in terms of planning and financing your agricultural operation.
The Subsistence Farmer.
This farmer runs his or her operation to make a living, subsisting and profiting on all that he or she grows. The subsistence farmer selects crops or livestock to accommodate his or her personal food requirements and/or selects items high in value, which can be sold to make a profit. Of the estimated 800 million urban farmers out there, most fall into this category.
The Recreational Farmer.
The recreational farmer is in this business more out of hobby than to fulfill personal food needs. However, certain recreational farmers may surely subsist on what they grow. The varieties of crop are usually abundant. These farms are usually sustainable and intend to boost the local food scene and morale. Some recreational farms are for entertainment purposes, such as pumpkin patches, apple picking orchards, community gardens, etc.
The Entrepreneurial Farmer.
This farmer is in the farming business to make a substantial profit. This farmer hand picks gourmet items – crops or livestock that are high in value – such as greens or other specialty produce, fresh flowers, or live aqua-cultured fish. While the costs of these agricultural operations can be high in an urban setting, there are also logistical benefits, including convenient, quick transportation of items, which decreases the risk of items perishing en route. Entrepreneurial farmers and subsistence farmers are very similar with their intentions. Both farmers desire to profit from their business; however, entrepreneurial farmers usually intend to profit on a much larger scale. These farmers tend to have more of a comprehensive business plan and larger farms. Out of all the urban farmers out there, this subset is probably the smallest in size, but it holds the highest potential in terms of expansion, impact, and innovation.
Interested in heading an urban farming project? Bankers South offers hobby farm loans for such projects. If your operation is more extensive and you’re more of the entrepreneurial farmer type, you will definitely benefit from a discussion regarding our agricultural loans. Through our AgAmerica Lending program we offer AgAmerica Conventional Real Estate Loans. Interest rates for these ag loans often beat all other agriculture loan programs. Ag loan types range from 10-Year Revolving Line of Credit to more traditional, 25-year fully amortized loans to best suit your agricultural project.