How to Make Money on a Farm: 19 Ways to Do it in 2023

Overcoming Profitability Hurdles: A Small Farm Guide

As an advisor helping entrepreneurs build profitable farm businesses for over 10 years, I‘ve seen firsthand the challenges threatening margins: rising fuel and feed prices, droughts, commodity price fluctuations. However, through smart diversification, efficiency gains, and innovation, there are paths to consistent profits.

The Financial Reality for Farmers

Agriculture sector profitability remains razor thin. Median farm income hovers around $43,000, with over half of farms losing money or just breaking even [1]. Only the top 10% of commodity crop and livestock farmers achieve strong profits [2].

Farm Size % Profitable
Small 21%
Medium 32%
Large 47%

So what explains the minority of farms excelling financially? Strategically adding income streams beyond basic production. This guide details proven ways to profit.

Section 1: Diversify Beyond Commodities

Farming‘s mantra should mirror investment philosophy – diversify to minimize risk and develop resilience. With innovatve offerings, farms transform into diversified small businesses.

Popular options include:


Capitalizing on the rising agritourism industry offers recreation-focused income. Constructing mazes, observation towers, petting farms, and amusement rides brings families seeking entertainment. For example, ABC Farm in Ohio generates 40% of yearly revenue from its giant corn maze and haunted hayrides.

Agritourism offerings must consider liability insurance, access roads, parking, restrooms and other visitor requirements. Still, with careful planning and marketing, this represents a $15 – $20 billion addressable market [3].


Glamping leverages…