Are you passionate about rearing cattle? Would you love to start a cattle farm? If so, you need to know how to go about it and all things related to it. However, I get how confusing this can be if you are a beginner. But it doesn’t have to be this way. For one, a cattle farm is a very profitable business if you manage it correctly. Then you need to have enough funds to set up the business on the right foot. You can even apply for a cattle farm loan to start with. There is a ready market for beef and dairy products. Let’s dive into how you can start a cattle farm.
Design a Business Plan
The first step to starting a cattle farm is to write a business plan. The business plan should include what you wish to accomplish with your farm. All your goals, objectives, how to acquire capital, land, cattle, and just about everything should be in your plan. The business plan should act as a compass in your cattle farm journey. It should be so comprehensive that you find a sense of direction anytime you feel lost. You can plan to start small with a few beef cattle, add some dairy cows, and even start rearing calves as you scale up.
Register Your Business
Next, you need to register your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company. If you structure your business as a sole proprietorship, it will save you tax expenses, but you will be responsible for business debts. A partnership is similar to a sole proprietorship only that you share the cost with another investor. A limited liability company means more taxes only that you will not be directly liable for your business debts. You will have to register in your state. You also need to acquire a tax ID that will help you if you need to hire staff. Lastly, you will have to acquire business permits or any other permits required to run the farm smoothly. For example, you need a federal license to transport animals across states.
Choose a Farm Location
You now need to choose where your farm will be located at this stage—a place that is easily accessible and conducive for the cattle you intend to rear—this can get a bit pricey. Hence, there is a need to plan yourself well. You can obtain cattle farm loans or other forms of financing to pay for your farm. From your business plan, you will be able to anticipate how much you need. Talk to agricultural and small business organizations as they can direct you to lenders that can lend you the starting capital. Remember to carry out your business plan as it increases your chances of landing a loan.
For a start, check land that is out for rent or sale. Make sure to choose land with enough pasture space to feed your cattle. Consult an extension on the land for expert advice before purchasing it.
Establish Your Farm
Here you will have to select the breed of cattle you want to rear on your farm. To make a better choice, make sure you choose the breeds according to your farm goals and those that are commonly found in your area. Don’t choose breeds based on what you like. Ensure you buy healthy cows to stock your farm, do enough due diligence. You need to build barns and other facilities that your cows need. Install clean water sources for your cows at different points on the farm. Plants, grass, and alfalfa as food sources. This will ensure your cows are healthy, hydrated, and well-fed at all times. Cows eat a lot of food, so you need to have a constant supply. Hire a professional to set up fences to keep cows in the pastures.
Manage Your Farm
The final step is to come up with a farm management structure to ensure your farm is running smoothly. These include:
- Get in touch with a nutritionist, veterinarian, or any other professional to help you make your farm succeed. They will ensure that at all times, your cows are healthy. They will also advise you on how to deal with emergencies on the farm.
- Have a waste management plan for cow manure. It is no doubt that you will get manure from your cows. This manure can help you put back nutrients in your pastures. Therefore, it is recommendable to have a compost pit for the manure where you can dump it appropriately for use.
- Set up record-keeping books for the cows and farm—this will help you easily keep track of your farm. Financial records are especially the most important. Thus, you need to keep a record of how much funds you have, sales, purchases, or any assets you have exchanged. You also need to keep health records for your animals.
At this stage, your business is now set up for success.
In conclusion, starting a cattle farm is not as easy as 1,2,3, but following the steps will make the process more manageable. You can even start with two or three cows as you expand your farm. When you talk to an extension officer, the process will become even easier. They will give you professional advice on what breeds to rear, where to locate your farm, what feeds you use, and so on.
If you require external funding such as loans, you can also apply for them. Many agricultural lenders are more than willing to help you in your business journey. At United Farm Mortgage, we offer customized loans to farmers to help them finance the real estate you would need. We have more than 35 years of experience in the agriculture industry so we understand the dynamics of the industry.