For the city businessperson and wealthy wall street workers, lifestyle farming has become a hobby for a way of escaping the everyday pressures of city life.
Chris Andersen, the founder of Manhattan investment banking firm, G.C. Andersen Partners LLC is an example of someone who enjoys lifestyle farming. The 81-year-old works on a farm in New Jersey on the weekends with three full-time employees taking care of the farm when he cannot tend to his hobby. He recently told Bloomberg:
It’s the most exciting and interesting thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.
In the US 41% of farms are run by operators who have an alternative income besides the farm. As it turns out, farming is an expensive hobby therefore in recent years many wealthy people have created farms as side projects.
Anderson has been farming for the last 10 years and has found that unlike investment banking his farming is unprofitable. He estimates he’s spent in the low seven figures each year for the last 10 years on them and is now at about break-even before capital expenditures.
Being a farmer is a lot more complicated than most people realize.
Although he may be farming in a more expensive style Anderson is one of many in the growing trend of lifestyle farming.
Another example is Lee Montgomery, who in the week creates foundations for shopping malls in Southern California but once finished he goes straight to his vineyard.
Farming is very relaxing, like meditation and yoga. It’s peaceful, fulfilling, and it’s a good thing to fade into.
Montgomery notes that he’s hoping the hobby will turn profitable by the time he retires.
It’s for people that don’t want to sit around and watch TV or have too much energy. I do my job, then go home and work in the vineyard.
Some may wish for an income or future income but the majority view lifestyle farming as a recreational outlet. Eric Hansotia, chief operating officer of agriculture machinery companies Agco Corp. comments:
Many people would like to live in the countryside, have some horses or own a few acres, have the lifestyle, even though their primary occupation is something else.
Image source by Poultry News