Twenty years of observing new farmers has taught me that you are an enthusiastic, passionate, ambitious lot. This is a good thing because farming, especially in the early years, will take a toll — not just your body but your brain and sometimes your commitment as well. It takes a lot to get a successful farm business launched and when the results are not quite what you hoped, it can be a major blow to your dreams. In sorting the successful start-ups from the challenging ones there are some lessons to be learned. They are not easy lessons but for your consideration:

  1. Avoid the tendency to over-diversify your production.
  2. Invest in post-harvest care.
  3. Limit your market channels.
  4. Listen to your customers.
  5. Have a mechanization plan.

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