How to Make Money in Agriculture

July 12, 2019

To those in the industry farming is a way of life. Yet as farms consolidate and city populations grow the farming lifestyle is becoming more and more unique. As special as this way of life is to America’s farmers at the end of the day you have to pay the bills. This is true for the farmer in the field as well as the investor looking to diversify. As part of our series on investing in Agriculture we’ve put together this list of 6 ways you can make money in agriculture.

1. Actively Farming / Harvest Yields

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Farming is as traditional a job as there is yet the number of farmers as a percentage of population is declining. This cannot be said for the number of mouths to feed.

There’s plenty of opportunity and personal reward that comes from being a farmer. Keep in mind the challenges associated with this way of life. Expect long hours and high upfront costs when starting out. You can also expect to wear several different hats just to keep your operation going.

Although small farms and hobby farms are on the rise, don’t step into this arena lightly. Getting the most out of a farm takes an experienced farmer with an eye on the bottom line.

2. Crowdfunding

Farming is personally rewarding but requires labor and expertise. Traditional agricultural investments (see ETFs/REITs below), don’t require much labor but they do lack a tangible connection to your investments. Crowdfunding, in our somewhat bias opinion, provides the best of both worlds.

Leave the farming to the farmers but allow your investment to directly help them grow their operation. You can do this while enjoying the passive income that this new asset class offers. This is to say nothing of the tax benefits offered by crowdfunding.  

View our farm real estate investments here.

3. Investing (ETFs / REITs)

We’ve covered these options here and here.

4. Agriculture Careers

You don’t have to be a farmer to work in agriculture. Consider the following careers…

  • Ag Lawyer
  • Ag Economist
  • Biochemist
  • Crop Insurance Agent
  • Agronomy Sales Manager
  • Ag Engineer
  • Animal Geneticist
  • Ag Operations Manager

For more ag careers check out this list from Ag Grad.

5. Livestock

Much like farming row crops, orchards or vineyards, raising livestock can be highly rewarding and it comes with it’s own unique lifestyle. Prepare yourself for manual labor and high upfront costs. You’ll have to contend with the operational challenges of a farm as well as the marketing challenges. Trade wars and market swings, not to mention weather concerns, will all play a role in your ability to produce a meaningful income.


This isn’t a complete list but maybe it will get you thinking about how you can enter the agriculture market. There are many challenges but there are no shortages of opportunity.