Add-on Business Ideas for Farmers
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Add-on Business Ideas for Farmers

Ideas for other money making opportunities for farmers and rural people. What are some business expansion ideas for farmers? What are some things a farmer can do to bring in additional income to his farm? How can a farmer make more money? Business ideas for acreage owners? How can I make more money on my hobby farm?

In the past it was possible to live on the farm and make a good livelihood but times have changed. More and more farmers are looking for other ways to make ends meet. Working off the farm is one idea, but not always possible; there are certain times of the year a farmer must tend to his farm, not all employers are flexible.

As such a farmer should look for additional businesses he, or she, can add to the farm itself.

Here are some of the best businesses that are ideal for farmers.

Bed and Breakfast

If you have a large farmhouse you might consider converting it to a bed and breakfast. There may be considerable expense in doing so, especially if you want to put up walls to keep the guest area separate from the rest of your house. This is best if you are located near a tourist area or near a popular highway used by tourists.

Bales and Breakfast

This is overnight accommodation for horses. This is a good option if you are located near a major highway on a route people frequently travel as is primarily used by people traveling long distances with horses. There is not a huge demand for this, but you can improve your business by letting hotels in your area know of your availability as people traveling through with horses may inquire about this.

Horse Boarding

If you have enough space to board horses this can be a good addition to your farm. Pasture board is the easiest thing to offer, the pasture does need to have a proper shelter, place for water, and good fencing. Generally all you need to do is throw some hay over the fence twice a day. Boarding horses in a stall is a lot more work as the stall should be cleaned daily. Some farmers work out a deal for horse owners who are willing to clean their own stalls. You do need to have a bathroom people can use and be willing to tolerate people on our farm.

Child Minding

Believe it or not there is quite a big demand for people to watch children in the country. This is very common in areas where many people work off the farm and need child care. This is a good option for a person who has a childproof home and time to properly look after children.


Some farmers have started blogging as a way to make additional income. This requires the blog to be linked to Google Adsense or some other payment system, and generally takes at least a year to produce a regular income, which might not be as high as a person expects. There are many other online opportunities for farmers to make income, including for writing for Factoidz, which may be more lucrative than blogging.

Taking in a Renter

If you have an empty basement suite, or other home on your property you should consider renting it out.  This works best for people who live near tourist areas where employee housing is often lacking.

Other Add-on Business Ideas for Farmers Include:

  • You-Pick Berries
  • Free Range Hen Eggs - can sell at farmers markets or via road side signs - depending on laws in your area.
  • Corn Maze
  • Raising Bees - Honey, candles, etc. - can sell at farmers markets or at farm.
  • Raising Rabbits (mostly for meat)
  • Farm Tours
  • Hay Rides
  • Greenhouse - Plant Nursery
  • RV and Boat Storage
  • Boarding Kennel for Dogs
  • Petting Zoo*

*Offering a petting zoo option can be tempting but it can also be more expensive than it is worth. If you already keep a variety of friendly animals this can be alright, but the cost of getting such animals can be too much of a burden. As well the liability can be huge if somebody gets hurt. In most places you are required to have a bathroom and place to wash hands.

Always check local laws and licensing requirements first.

Additional resources:

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Comments (4)

Sorry have run out of votes, Brenda. Another interesting ideas you have here which are very much possible.

I agree with Will, our local farmers (more than 50 yrs or so) have no ideas of alternative so they turn to city, migrated and end up working on constructions as hard-labor.

Great one to vote up.

Don't forget crafting.