The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.
Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
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)So You Want To Get
Into Agriculture ?
J. A. Otte and L. L. Rozar, Jr.
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida
Florida Cooperative Extension Service
The days of making a living on a small, hand-operated farm
are gone from Florida. But a small farm can utilize unused
resources and put a few extra dollars in your pocket if you
can afford to get started. The key to success is prior plan-
ning. "One who fails to plan, plans to fail."
What Do You Want To Do On Your Farm?
-Make money from agricultural production.
-Live in the country.
-Invest in land for security and capital growth.
-Have a retirement or part-time hobby.
-Get a change in pace from other activities.
Does your family also want to live and work on the farm?
What size farm do you want, or need, or can you afford. Do
you have enough other income for a good living on a small
farm? Do you have enough capital to get started? Are you
willing to bear agricultural risks and uncertainties?
What Do You Want To Produce?
Agricultural activities in Florida range from deep sea fishing
to flower arranging. Principal agricultural commodities
Livestock: beef, dairy, poultry, goats, rabbits, hamsters, etc.
Fruits: citrus, tropical, grapes, blackberries, etc.
Vegetables: tomatoes, green peppers, melons, radishes, and
Ornamentals: foliage, woodies, flowers, turf, and landscape
Forest products: lumber, fence posts, and pulp wood.
Nuts and nut products.
Field crops: tobacco, small grain, corn, soybeans, peanuts.
Forage: hay, pasture, sorghum.
How Much Do You Want To Produce-Market?
-For home consumption and canning only.
-To give away.
-To sell at a roadside stand, auction, or on consignment.
-To sell "U-Pick".
-For commercial sales.
If you plan to sell, make sure you know when, where, how,
and to whom you are going to market before you start.
How To Produce and Utilize.
Obtain a list of production practices from your Extension
Agent. Plan to follow "must do" type practices. Learn to
identify disease and insect problems and look for them.
What Resources Do You Need?
-Determine what you want to produce.
-Determine how much you want to produce.
-From the list of production practices determine resource
requirements per unit to be produced.
-Multiply unit requirements times number of units.
-Total all resource requirements and costs.
-Determine what equipment is necessary.
What Resources Do You Have?
-How much do you and your family have?
-Is it available when needed?
-Can you hire trained or untrained help?
-Do you have land?
-Do you have enough land?
-What quality is it?
-What is it suited for?
-What treatments are needed?
-Seed bed preparation.
-Tractor, tillage tools, truck or trailer, sprayer, irrigation
-What size are they?
-What condition are they in?
-Should you buy or lease land?
-Can you afford required equipment?
-Do you have money for growing costs?
-Can you cover possible losses?
-Do you know proper practices to successfully put out a
Determine What Additional Resources Are Required.
-Are they available?
-What will they cost?
-Can you afford them?
NOW! MAKE YOUR DECISION
1. Decide what you want to do.
2. Decide what to produce.
3. Decide how much to produce.
4. Establish your market.
5. Find out how to produce.
6. Calculate resources needed.
7. List resources you have.
8. Determine additional resources needed and their costs.
Sources of Help On:
-Savings and Loans
-Production Credit Association
-Federal Land Bank
-Farmer's Home Administration
.'* .' :..-:... .. "
Soil and Water Management Soil Conservation
Water use permits Southwest Florida Water Management
Crop statistics, inspections, grades, and standards Florida
Department of Agriculture.
Machinery local equipment dealers.
Production supplies local merchants and dealers.
Zoning and local regulations County Administration.
Production Practices-County Cooperative Extension Service
We are glad to serve you with this material. The Florid
Cooperative Extension Service is a cooperative undertaken
of IFAS, the U. S. Department of Agriculture, and th
Sarasota Board of County Commissioners.
Reply to: 2900 Ringling Blvd.
Sarasota, FL 33580
J. A. Otte is Farm Management Specialist, Food and
Resource Economics Department, Agricultural Re
search and Education Center, Bradenton.
L. L. Rozar, Jr. is Sarasota County Extension Director
This public document was promulgated at an annual
cost of $67.88, or 6.8 cents per copy to provide
information on prospective careers in agriculture.
BRADENTON AREC RESEARCH REPOtI