What Do You Wish You Knew When You Bought Your Farm?

Read this article in the May/June full issue here.

I wish I knew more about plumbing and drainage before we bought our farm. There is always a leaky or broken pipe, sprinkler, or automatic waterer that needs a repair or replacement and having a plumber at your beck and call isn’t always possible or affordable. I finally had our plumber help me put together a plumbing kit with all the PVC, fittings, caps, glue, and a cutter and teach me how to use it. Also, you simply can’t afford to buy “cheap” — meaning, you can’t afford to have cheaply-made parts break forcing you to pay multiple times to fix the same thing. Do it right the first time or you’ll hate yourself every time you look at it forever.”            
~ Michelle Decker Rumanes, Agoura Hills, California

Always add more stalls than you think you need. The work is never done when you own a farm. Don’t be cheap in small spaces because you will pay for it later.”  
~ Kirsten Crawford,  Elgin, Illinois

I wish I knew to ask about the drainage as well as the soil on the property. I get a run off from the neighbor and I’m on clay. Had I asked the questions I would have given the farm a second thought.
~ Lauren Berardi,  Rochester, New York

Where are all of the water lines, underground utilities, and hidden stuff you wouldn’t know about until you hit it while digging?
~ Britt McCormick, Allen, Texas

When looking at your farm (or prospective farm), look at the layout and ask yourself if your space is being used to the best of its ability. It’s not the worst thing if it’s not in that moment because that allows for growth. At our farm, we have recently undergone a major construction overhaul to redo our rings, paddocks, and adding an additional barn to make sure we are getting the most out of our 8.5 acres. Functionality is key when working out of a smaller space.
~ Megan Rosenthal,  Charlotte, North Carolina

I recommend to everyone:
• Know your county and community (we are HOA) laws and regulations. With a complete barn remodel and building a new arena with plenty of grading and retaining walls involved, the project took a year longer than I had anticipated.
• Do your research on suppliers. Hay, grain, bedding, manure removal, etc. Make sure you are able to get what you want, when you want it, and have a place to store it!
• Footing. Research and get the base RIGHT. Skimp on certain things but not your base, drainage, and footing. Will be worth it in the end.
~ Kristy Miller,  Murrieta, California

We built our farm from the ground up and are still in the process. I wish I would have realized how long it would take – permits, weather delays, contractor delays, more permit delays, inspectors, and a global pandemic. I received my agricultural approval in August of 2018. It took another year to get approval for grading on the house, and we are now awaiting another permit and another inspection before we can start insulation and drywall.
~ Hunter Messineo,  Davidsonville, Maryland