Is Your Farm a Hobby or a Business?

February 20, 2024

Christopher LeMaster, Jr.
Livestock & Forage Agent
Cherokee, Spartanburg, & Union Counties

Many may answer “Yes” to the above question, but nonetheless, that is an insightful question to ask yourself. Hopefully, you are intentional in your record-keeping, accounting, and tax preparation so that the IRS isn’t asking you the same question.  Whether you identify as a hobbyist or businessman, all will agree that it requires real work to answer this question successfully. Besides the work, there are fundamental business concepts that cannot be ignored if you wish to keep your farm around for future generations. A team of agribusiness agents and specialists and I have worked to develop the workshop series Farm Business Concepts. This course is designed to dive deep into the foundations of a well-run farm business. Participants will learn about business structures, labor forms, record keeping, accounting (managerial, tax), and tax management.  The workshop also includes a session on enterprise budgets and some case studies tailored to the cow/calf and hay producer. We are excited to help our farmers run their farms like businesses. There’s nothing wrong with being a hobby farmer, and truthfully, most of us would not endure the long hours and labor if we weren’t truly passionate about farming. We hope this program will help farmers identify ways to keep their farms profitable so that they may survive the ups and downs of the market and, most importantly, be around for another generation of farmers.


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