50 small farm business ideas


President-elect Donald Trump’s recent decision appointment of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as Ambassador to China serves as a reminder. High-tech products aren’t the only thing that matters in today’s global economy. Iowa farmers supply huge amounts of corn and pork to China. Agriculture therefore remains an important activity here in the United States and also produces important products for export. While you might not be exporting to the world’s second-largest economy anytime soon, here are 50 small farm businesses you might consider.

Farm business ideas

Urban agriculture

You don’t need a huge space to start farming. If you have a home in the city or the suburbs, you can still plant certain crops in small or upright containers to make the most of your space.

Sale at the farmer’s market

Whether you live in the city or in the countryside, you can take the food you grow or produce and sell it at local farmers’ markets to earn an income.

Cultivation of herbs

Herbs like basil, parsley, and mint can make great agricultural products. So you can grow it at home or on your farm and sell it.

Market gardening

You can also plant a variety of different vegetables and harvest them to sell or process them into different products.

Manufacture of animal feed

Even if you don’t have enough space to raise livestock, you can still contribute to the industry by making feed for the livestock.

Fruit cultivation

Or you can grow and harvest various types of fruit to sell or process into other fruit products.

Big cultures

Soybeans, cloves, and other types of crops require a fair amount of space on the ground to grow. But if you have the land, you can harvest specific crops to sell to food producers.

Nursery operation

You can also set up your own nursery where you grow and sell different types of plants to consumers or businesses.

Dairy farming

If you have the space and the ability to take care of cows or other dairy animals, you can start your own dairy farms where you produce milk, cheese and the like.

Poultry farm

Or you could focus on caring for chickens and other poultry to supply food production businesses.


Fish farming is also a growing sector of agriculture – or in this case, aquaculture – industry. The process involves raising fish in large tanks or pens.

Rabbit breeding

You can also keep rabbits for various purposes in small enclosures or similar enclosures.

Snail farming

If you are looking for a very small type of animal to raise, you might consider snails. It might sound strange, but you can breed snails for use in snails. And snail slime can also be used by businesses for a variety of purposes.

Mushroom cultivation

You can also create a farm where you specifically focus on growing various types of mushrooms.


Beekeeping is an activity that can lead to a variety of business ventures based on different products.

Honey production

For example, you can harvest honey from beehives and sell it to consumers or processors.

Beeswax treatment

You can also collect and process beeswax and sell it to companies or individuals who use it to make candles and similar products.

Soybean production

Soy is another popular substance that can be used in a variety of different products. So if you can harvest it and process it, you can sell it to companies for various uses.

Food delivery

If you grow or process food, you can also start a business around delivering fresh food to local consumers who want to buy local products.

Wholesale of bulk food products

You can also harvest foods that can be sold in bulk, like rice or corn, which you can wholesale to food production companies.

Weedkiller production

Or you can start a B2B business that produces weedkillers specifically for farmers or other farming businesses.

Canned fruit

If you grow or process fruit, you can sell it to consumers or food companies.

Jam production

Or you can process various fruits even further to make canned jam or jelly products.

Juice production

Juice is another popular fruit product that you could potentially make and sell in farmers’ markets or other places.

Meat packaging

You can also start a business that processes meat products for sale to consumers or to food markets.

Hatchery operation

Or you can focus on collecting and selling chicken eggs.

Florist Company

You can even start a florist business where you grow your own flowers to use in different products and arrangements.

Spice production

There are also many different plants that you can grow that will allow you to create various spices that you can process and sell.

Nut processing

Or you could grow peanuts or something similar that you can package and sell.

Organic gardening

You can also specialize in organic gardening practices so that you can market your products to consumers who care about their health and the environment.

Consulting in sustainable agriculture

Or you could even offer your expertise to other farmers or agribusinesses who want to use sustainable methods as a consultant.

Rental of agricultural equipment

If you have the capital to buy farm or farm equipment, you can start a business where you rent or lease this equipment from farmers.

Worm breeding

Compost can be a useful tool for food producers. So you can make compost to sell to farmers and gardeners by starting your own worm farm.

Goat rental

People who have a lot of land and don’t want to spend time mowing it could potentially use the help of goats. So you can start your own business where you take care of the goats and then hire them out for this purpose.

Christmas tree cultivation

You can also grow pine trees on your property and then sell them to neighboring customers during the holidays to use them as Christmas trees.

Firewood production

Or if you have other types of trees on your land, you can sell the firewood to those who need it. Creating a long-term sustainable business would depend on expanding the amount of land you can harvest trees on and also systematically replenishing through continuous replanting.

Tree seed supply

You can also collect seeds from different trees and sell them to people who want to plant new ones.

Oil production

There are also different types of plants that you can use to produce oil for cooking or for other purposes. So you can process this petroleum process to sell it.

Sale of potted plants

Or you can grow different types of plants and then sell them in pots to gardeners or consumers looking for houseplants.

Butterfly breeding

Gardeners can often use butterflies to aid their growth processes and their aesthetics. So you can create your own butterfly colony and target garden clients.

Wool production

Or you could focus on raising animals like sheep and alpacas for wool production.

Production of pet food

You can also use a variety of different crops and food products to create pet food that you can sell to consumers.

Planting service

If you don’t have your own farm but still want to start a business focused on planting crops, you can set up your own planting service and work with other farmers or producers in your area.

Sitting at the farm

Or you can start a business by providing farm security services where you look after people’s farms or lands while they are traveling.

Operation corn maze

If you have corn plots on your property, you can create a corn maze that you can show people around for part of the year.

Operation of the petting zoo

You can also raise some animals and then welcome visitors to your farm as part of a petting zoo attraction.

Educational agriculture

Or you could have a farm where you host groups of students or people interested in learning more about farming.

Hiking service

If you have a tractor or other vehicle that you can drive around different parts of your farm or property, you can offer hiking tours as another paid attraction.


You can also provide a full tourist experience at your farm where people can come and visit and maybe even stay as part of a bed and breakfast type experience.

Hunting fees

And if you have a fairly large lot and there are certain types of animals, you can even let people pay to visit for hunting purposes.

Pig farm Photo via Shutterstock

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