Monday, May 27, 2024
HomeNotes From KathyDoing the Math - Off-farm jobs, Yes or No?

Doing the Math – Off-farm jobs, Yes or No?

I was recently helping a young friend consider how best to move her business forward. Her question was whether the retail space she was looking at was a good step. My answer was, “Let’s do the math.”

We started by figuring out how much work she’d need to bring in to cover the rent. Yes, the contract she had to produce a product could cover it, but she’d only have $300 left over to pay herself. It wasn’t a living wage. Her response was, “Well, I have this other job and it will cover my living expenses.”

It’s the same solution so many farmers and ranchers come up with: off-farm jobs to cover bills, health insurance, and their daily necessities. In my friend’s case I pointed out that she’d be doing an awful lot of work simply to support a retail space, just like farmers do an awful lot of off-farm work so they can have livestock.

I think off-farm jobs are great, by the way, as is having livestock. But it only works if you’re happy and can truly cover your living expenses and do other things you love to do. If you’re unhappy, or you can’t do the things you really want to do, maybe there are adjustments you can make that will get you back on track.

Thinking about what you want and adjustments you might make is what this week’s article collection is about. It’s really one article with lots of outside links that you can explore as you consider the questions: “What do I want?” and “How do I get there?” There’s a lot, and I did that on purpose because I’m taking next week off and I wanted you to have something to tide you over.

At the end, I also added some important resources. They’re organizations and people I recommend you connect with to help you be successful. They each have email lists you can sign up for, so you can stay up-to-date and get some great information. And they don’t spam!

Enjoy the rest of April! And thanks for reading!


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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.

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