The Urban Farmer: 5 Common Reasons Why Many Small Farmers Fail and How You Can Avoid These Pitfalls (FSFS14)

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Common Reasons Why Many Small Farmers Fail At Farming

  • Growing too many crops. 
    • Not focusing on the crops that make you the most money and fit your growing system best.
    • Growing what you want, not what the market wants
  • Not knowing who your customers are.
    • Where do they live, how much money do they make, what type of foods do they like to eat, how much food do they buy, etc.
    • It is very important to pay attention to and learn the nuances and subtleties of market and how they change season to season and over time.
  • Not realizing that you are in the people business, not the food business.
    • A lot of people will buy product from you because they like you and your story and they want to support you.  It isn’t just all about the product.
    • If you focus on the product at the expense of the customer relationships then you might end up with a lot of product and a little customer base.
  • Not having a plan.
    • A lot of farmers start farming and then try to mold a business around that, versus conceptualizing a business, creating a plan, creating a plan, and then executing.  You need to have a business concept before you start farming.
  • Waiting to starting your farm marketing until you have a product to sell.
    • You can start marketing your farm and building an audience from day one. 
    • Don’t expect people to be lined up out the door just because you have product to sell.


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3 replies on “The Urban Farmer: 5 Common Reasons Why Many Small Farmers Fail and How You Can Avoid These Pitfalls (FSFS14)

  • Christopher

    Sincerely speaking, this is an informative article and one that can save us the trouble of losing money on unprofitable farming ventures.
    A lot of us make the mistake of thinking ‘if we start growing, people will start buying’ and then we end producing stuff that no one is interested in.
    Great tips

  • Mark

    Great show! I appreciate the “tough love” sort of way that you explained the harsh realities of this business. It reminds me of the inspirational lectures that my father gave me as a kid.


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