Organic farming; what advantages and benefits of becoming an organic producer? If you’re interested in organic farming over conventional, then sure. Organic growers experience many benefits and advantages that conventional growers do not. Beyond the growing consumer market for organics, which means your products will be in demand, there are tons of other organic farms, as shown below.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), traditional farming is a career choice on the decline. However, organic farming is the whole deal. The BLS notes that smaller retail sales targets are still growing but experiencing tremendous success and profits as time progresses.
The BLS Farming Outlook Guide notes:
“Many [farmers] are finding opportunities in horticulture and organic food production, which are among the fastest growing segments of agriculture.”
So, organic is the smart way to take it if you want to make it as a grower. You will see more job security and be able to collect a more significant share of the consumer price than traditional growers do.
Is organic farming a good career option?
Added to becoming an organic farmer is that you will grow excellent skills. If organic farming doesn’t pan out as you thought or you can’t handle the physical stress of agriculture, the knowledge you gain while growing organically can translate into other organic farming opportunities such as teaching, training, farm management, certification, and more.
Top Careers in the Organic Industry
Organic food production
- Becoming a USDA Organic Certification Agent
Lower initial investment
Starting organic production operations is not without costs. Unlike conventional growers, organic certification costs will be an issue, and you may need to invest in a better land and special equipment.
That being said, conventional organic farming does not require the same high investments as traditional farming. Especially when you consider how expensive large amounts of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and genetically modified seeds can be. As an organic farmer, you will avoid these costs from the start and will not have to borrow as much money when starting.
- How do you finance an organic farm purchase?
- Financial assistance for new organic farmers
- Organic certification costs to consider
High quality for an organic product
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) results from the 2011 Organic Industry Scan show that the organic industry grew by 28.6 billion ISK + in 2010, showing alarming growth for this particular agricultural sector.
Organic is becoming more popular with consumers over time, and many organic converts have become lifelong customers. Additionally, research shows that organic consumers are willing to pay a higher price if it means they are getting high-quality organic material.
Finally, organic retailers are selling more organic products as a result. For example, the Food Marketing Institute recently noted that organic is sold in 73% of all conventional grocery stores. At the same time, Natural Foods Merchandiser reports that nearly 20,000 grocers carry organic products.
Overall, if you are growing organically, the demand for your products will withstand even a poor economy. More often than not, organic consumers are willing to pay more for quality.
Organic production should always be distinct from environmentally friendly shows. Eco and organic are not the same thing. However, as an organic producer, you will naturally experience some ecological benefits, such as…
- Water conservation and protection.
- Less use of inputs, such as diesel and fertilizers, can harm the earth.
- Improved and protected biological diversity.
- Minimizing or eliminating the use of toxic substances that harm the planet.
- Reduced risk of global warming.
Lower input costs
Organic farming does not involve the same use or high cost of costly chemicals that conventional agriculture does. Because organic producers work hard to grow disease and pest-resistant crops, in addition to using other conditions and pest methods, costs in this area are lower for farm life, and it can save a lot of money.
Drought resistant granules
Drought, and its high costs, are a concern for many growers, organic or conventional. However, organic crops are known to be naturally more drought-tolerant than traditional crops. It is mainly because often chemical fertilizers are water soluble, so you need more water to grow normally.
Suppose the worst happens and water is limited. In that case, organic growers are lucky to come out much better than their conventional counterparts. Considering that a study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research shows that we could be experiencing severe drought within 30 years, this is good news for organic growers.
Healthy soil is technically considered ecological or environmentally friendly organic farming. Still, because the ground is such a significant issue, it should be viewed as a primary supply in organic farming.
As a grower, soil health should be a key consideration, but soil health is essential and goes far beyond healthier crops. Soil affects the entire world, and organically grown crops better support soil health.
First, to grow healthy, you have to start with healthy soil. Soil treated with harmful pesticides, chemicals, and other inputs is less healthy than soil that knows how to thrive without chemicals. An extensive study by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) shows that organic farming builds soil organic matter better than conventional agriculture. One small teaspoon of soil-rich organic soil can harbor up to 600 million to 1 billion beneficial bacteria from 15,000 species, while chemically treated soil carries only 100 beneficial bacteria.
In advance of the biological structure of healthy and thriving soil, organic farming helps combat severe soil and land issues, such as erosion. Erosion isn’t usually at the top of anyone’s worry list, but it should be. Attrition can kill entire land, wetlands, habitats, streams, and whole ecosystems, spreading disease and destroying food security.
Fortunately, studies show that organic farming helps fight erosion much better than conventional farming. One major study found that organic fields can have as much as eight inches of soil than chemically treated fields and experience only one-third of the shrinkage loss.
Awesome Marketing Opportunities
As an organic producer, you’ve got all kinds of naturally enticing marketing tools at your disposal, not the least of which is the green (or black) USDA organic seal. Consumers are starting to learn more about the seal and look for it when shopping.
There are many simple and less expensive ways to become a marketer, including many DIY ideas you can implement because marketing and organic go hand in hand and give you a different perspective on dealing with marketing.
Although biological objects almost market themselves, it is always wise to brush more on marketing methods. Check out the links below for tips.
- Email & Social Marketing Primer for Organic Products
- Why your organic farm needs a website
- Effective Social Media Engagement for Organic Businesses
As an organic producer, you must stay on top of all the latest organic innovations, trends, and techniques. In some ways, this can be a hassle. It takes a lot of work to keep up with new research and news.
Still, in the end, what happens is that you will learn a lot – ongoing, which keeps your mind working, and ideas fresh and allows you to benefit from further education. The National Institute of Natural History (NOP), many universities, and plenty of local workshops are available to update your knowledge. In addition, take into account the benefits of hands-on training. Having a career where you’re always learning new skills is admirable.
US Universities That Offer Organic Agriculture Programs
- 2012 The universities offer organic education