Guide

Diversify your farm business

Farm diversification ideas

There are a number of ways that you can generate extra money from your farm.

Farmers can utilise tourism opportunities, manufacture products or branch out from traditional crops. Consider the following farm business ideas:

  • Livestock products: Invest in goats, cows, or chickens for your farm so you can produce and sell milk, cheese and eggs.
  • Crop products: Consider growing and selling speciality flowers or vegetables that will attract the local community.
  • Experience days: Organise adventure days where you can take a group of people foraging for fruits or on outdoor pursuits/survival days to boost their skills. You could also organise arts and crafts events/workshops for the local community.
  • Open a farm shop: Sell produce from your farm and the local area, consider including a tearoom for visitors with home cooked food/baked goods from your farm.
  • Provide tourist accommodation: If you have unused land, consider using it for camping or providing glamping facilities, for example, teepees, treehouses or huts.
  • Become an open farm/petting zoo for children: Family farm day experiences are very popular – you can provide an opportunity for children to interact with animals and ride a tractor.
  • Use seasonal opportunities to open your farm to the public: Piggy-back on seasonal opportunities throughout the year - Halloween pumpkin patch, Christmas wonderland, sunflower season and summer events.
  • Venue hire: Revamp barns and hire them out as a wedding venue/party venue.

Once you have decided on how you would like to diversify your farm, you should create a business plan – see write a business plan: step-by-step and planning for farm diversification.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) can provide farm diversification support through the Rural Development Programme.

The Northern Ireland business support finder is a searchable database that can help you find publicly-funded and not-for-profit sources of assistance you may be eligible to apply for. Support may be available in a number of forms, including financial assistance and free or subsidised advice services.  Search the Northern Ireland business support finder.