In an April Inc.com article they pinpointed 17 industries favorable to start ups due to low-to-moderate industry competition and saturation, employment growth, and attainable average company size. Absent from the list was an industry I think is poised to see great growth in the upcoming year and that is the broad and diverse farming industry. This demand is not limited to our borders, agricultural exports increased by more than 10 percent from 2009 to 2010. Jim Boggs of Bright Hope Farm believes that “Sustainable agriculture is the trend of the future,” because“restoring nutrients to the soil pays dividends to the farmer.”
Notably, Inc.com predicted the environmental consulting industry would grow an astounding 16 percent each year through 2016. Included in that category are farm and sustainable practices consultants such as SPIN Farmer. These non-traditional consultants meet the needs as farms are seeking to use more sustainable processes as a replacement for the labor intensive (made more difficult by immigration laws) practices of the past.
Green and sustainable farm products and tools
However, not only is the time ripe for consulting firms, but the time is ripe for all businesses related to farming and farm products. Iowa has seen an increase in farm related manufacturing of both agricultural equipment and conversion of bio-materials into advanced oils, fuels, and other products. This innovation will continue due to the constant supply of new, knowledgeable talent. Dozens of universities including the University of Georgia now offer courses, certificates or degree programs focused and sustainable agriculture.
Consumers are demanding not only organic food but also food that is produced on sustainable farms that are environmentally responsible and treat workers and animals humanely. Miles McEvoy, head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s organic program, noted that “Organics are growing. Not at the same rate as a few years ago, but it’s still a growth area,” he said.
Not only is there an increase in demand for these products there will also be more opportunities for entry into this industry. This growth is being supported in many cities through the development of local ordinances making it easier to find and buy land. Moreover, the coming years will witness a change in ownership and management as the current farmer, averaging age 57 is being replaced by a younger farmer.” I’m no Inc.com but this is an industry which is particularly relevant to Georgia which deserves our support and attention.