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Starting a Farm ...

April 18th, 2011 at 05:54 am

We paid a LOT of taxes for 2010.

We knew it was coming. My husband did a lot of independent contracting work and did not go overseas at all since he was out-processing from the military.
We had the money set aside so everything was paid on time.

However ....

Our accountant suggested that we create an LLC to begin some sort of write-off with our 5-acres. Now, I know there is a lot of logic to this, but I am the kind of person that if I am going to work at anything, I ultimately want it to make money - not "mostly lose" for the tax break. So, we brainstormed and we have decided to begin a small farm. (If you knew me at all, you would get tickled because I have no farming experience, I tend to name all our chickens and I work at an office all day).

We are starting with the obvious: boarding horses.
This requires only repairs to the barn and a good cleaning of the extra stalls and grooming area. We already keep our two well - adding two more will get our LLC going and cover all our costs for our own two horses.

We have partnered with another local farmers for hay (mostly fertilizer and labor - my husband - not me) and will possibly participate in cotton.

The most expensive part of this will be the cattle. We have land we can lease for pasture, but finding the right cattle at the best price is taking a little work. I am also a little anxious to get written agreements going with the folks we are partnering with. They are absolutely "stand-up" guys but I am not as comfortable with hand-shake agreements as my husband is.

Does anyone have a clue of a normal agreement between farmers would work or where I can go for that information? Each situation is different: sometimes we are going to front the seed/fertilzer costs and other times we are providing tools (tractor) and materials. I know we are getting near unlimited hay for our horses for now, but if we add cattle, that would not work as it wouldn't be fair for the others.

Any advice or good resources would be highly appreciated!