Sustainability & Success- How To Grow Your Livestock Farming Business

Agriculture and farming extend beyond growing crops. If you want to try something different, livestock farming may just be the right option. It involves the rearing of animals for food and commercial purposes. You can have a farm full of different animals, such as beef and dairy cattle, horses, mules, pigs, sheep, goats, and commercial birds. Although it sounds simple, livestock farming requires a lot of hard work and a hefty investment. The competition in the domain is high, so you need to have a proper plan to sustain and make your business a success. Here are some expert tips for growing your livestock farming business.

Start small
If you plan to start from scratch and have no experience in livestock rearing, it is best to start small. Successful seasoned farmers recommend this strategy. It gives you time to understand the basics, right from the animals you must choose to the equipment you will need and the expertise you must develop to raise healthy livestock on the farm. Don’t expect to learn these things overnight because the industry is far more technical than you can imagine. Research and talk to experts before joining the bandwagon, as it will make things a lot easier to handle when you dive in.

Build one enterprise first
Sustenance and success are easier to achieve if you build on a specialty rather than try to do everything right from the start. Pick an enterprise first and focus on growth in that area. For example, you may consider specializing in goat milk. The best approach would be to advertise goat milk and build a brand around this specialty product. It will give you a good start in terms of recognition in the market. Moreover, you can use the early phase for understanding the industry, market, and consumer expectations. Once you build a brand, you can diversify to other animals and grow your business.

Onboard a team
Like any other business, you cannot do everything alone in this field too. Running operations in livestock farming requires hard work, and you will need people to help you with it. Start onboarding people early and grow your team as your business grows because you will require more people on the field. Pick ones with the right skills, but make sure that they are passionate about animals. You can even train your kids to lend a hand on the farm, which they will probably enjoy doing.

Scale as you grow 
If you want to sustain for the long haul, you must scale as you grow. Even as it may require some investment, you must do it to make your farm future-ready. Start with the basics like feeding. You can feed a few dozen by the bag, but things will be different when your farm has hundreds of animals. Investing in grain storage bins is the next step. They help you buy and store feed by tons, so you never need to struggle with short supplies. You can even save a fortune in the long haul by buying in bulk. 

Focus on efficiency
Growth is all about efficiency, so focus on running your livestock enterprise like a corporate business. Find ways to minimize the time spent in motion because your workforce may waste a lot of it as they move from one workstation to another. Take a note of the time spent on a specific task and identify strategies to cut it down. Like any other business, livestock farming is as much about profit and loss. It means you must streamline processes like production, packaging, and supply, just like a formal business, if you want to achieve your sustainability and profitability goals. 

Invest in multi-purpose structures
While you must make conscious efforts to boost efficiency in the farm operations, investing in multi-purpose structures is a good idea. Single-use structures such as confinement buildings for animals aren’t a worthy investment because they become obsolete when you stop raising a specific type of animal. Such structures are often hard to remodel and retrofit, so they end up wasting your land and money. Pole barns and pole sheds are a better option because you can easily implement changes according to your currents needs. At the same time, you need not worry about compromising the structural integrity.

Incentivize your team
When it comes to livestock farming, skilled and experienced employees can be real growth catalysts. They invest hard work to keep things going smoothly and bring innovative ideas to improve operations. It is vital to retain them for the long haul, which is possible if you keep them happy, loyal, and motivated. Rewarding them with incentives and appreciation is the best way to go. Offer thoughtful rewards such as commission packages and cash bonuses. Don’t consider them a business expense because they can eventually yield higher returns for your business.

Look for value addition
Achieving long-term success with your livestock business requires you to think outside the box. Look for value addition by adopting new practices and exploring additional revenue streams over time. For example, you can consider slaughtering, packaging, and selling beef directly instead of selling live animals to slaughterhouses. It lets you bring in more profits by eliminating middlemen from the selling chain. Branding and marketing can also help with value addition as they push your products, enhance brand visibility, and increase your margins. Even as processing and marketing may seem like an additional task, you can get handsome returns by doing them right. The final piece of advice is to stay true to your identity and values over the years. As the business expands, you may be tempted to cut corners to stay ahead of the increasing demand and maintain margins. You may even want to abandon your original brand and differentiating factors. But it is the last thing you should do because your original identity is probably why consumers recognize your brand and love your products. Stay true to your originality, and your consumers will be happy to stay with your brand.