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Starting a Farm

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Corner Brace
“How do I raise __________?” is a question that we often get at N.C. Cooperative Extension. However, the first question that you should ask yourself (and any partners involved) is “Should I raise ______?” Learn more in this article from Warren County Extension.
Ultimately, YOU are the one who will need to decide what you want to raise and/or grow on your farm. NC. Cooperative Extension can assist you with that decision but first, we have a few suggestions on how to start narrowing down your focus.
Check out these resources and answer the questions listed.
Here is a story from N.C. Cooperative Extension, Warren County Center of one potential farmer’s decision tree that may help you walk along this path.
The NC Farm Link page has resources on how to obtain a farm number and information about government cost-share programs.
Basic facts and acreage needed for raising different livestock species can be found here. How involved do you want to be? This could be leasing your land out to another farmer, running stockers, or breeding and raising your own. What equipment is needed for each species?
Pasture-based livestock enterprises, time commitments, cash flow, etc. (Four months to breed, birth, and wean pigs versus sixteen months for cattle)  Do you have five acres or 80 acres, and what species can you raise on that much land?
There are some great videos from the NC Choices program on how to start different pasture-based enterprises.
Other Frequently Asked Questions and Answers are on our website such as, “Can I raise chickens inside the city limits?”.
Finally, please click “make a copy” of this homework, and answer the questions listed (either in an email or as a Google Document). You may also view the questions.
View our staff listing page to find the best contact(s) to assist you with your journey.