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Must-Have Hobby Farm Equipment: Essential Tools for Success

Having the right tools makes or breaks any job, and most people who hobby farm want to spend more time farming and less time fretting and fixing. That's why making smart choices in what you buy is critical. Tractors don't come cheap, after all. This list covers the bare necessities of small-scale farming to ensure you never get left stranded in the field.

An expert's advice

Chad McGlothlen, the Director of Lending at Compeer Financial, shared some family wisdom that has proven accurate time and time again. His Grandpa Wayne always told him, "It only costs a little more to go first class." Chad believes this statement rings true when it comes to purchasing farming tools, agricultural equipment, and vehicles needed to thrive and survive in a hobby farm setting. You do not need to purchase the most expensive option to live out this quote; you simply need to purchase the product with the most value, and that isn't always the cheapest part, product, or equipment.

Vehicles, machinery, and hauling equipment

This equipment carries the largest upfront cost for hobby farmers. However, it's also the most indispensable. Farming revolves around hauling and rough terrain, and only certain equipment can withstand the abuse. The absolute essentials include:

  • A pick-up truck
  • A farm utility vehicle (ATV, UTV, or mini tractor)
  • A mower (standalone or a utility vehicle attachment)
  • A livestock trailer (if you're keeping large livestock)
  • One or more handcarts/farm wagons

Remember, if your property isn't flat and well-compacted, spring for four-wheel drive on your pick-up and utility vehicle. Slopes, mud, and snow can spell disaster when you have insufficient traction.

If you're keeping large animals such as cows, sheep, pigs or horses, then getting your own livestock trailer makes a very smart investment. While these aren't difficult to rent, having your own means you can use it for more than just livestock. Anytime you need to haul hay or firewood, you'll be glad you have it.


General-purpose power tools and hand tools

In addition to the necessary agricultural equipment, a well-stocked tool shed with general-purpose farming tools is essential for hobby farmers. Many different tools can come in handy around the farm. However, buying one of everything is both cost-prohibitive and a waste of space. If you're just starting out, prioritize acquiring these tools:

  • Electric circular saw
  • Electric drill/driver
  • Tape measures (ideally several, with at least one 100' in length)
  • Claw hammer
  • Side-cutting/linesman pliers
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Adjustable wrench set
  • Screwdriver set (with both Phillips and flathead drivers)
  • Sturdy multi-tool (to keep with you at all times)

McGlothlen offers another sage piece of advice regarding hand tools. Try to purchase equipment that comes with a physical warranty card. Save that card, stapled to the purchase receipt, and keep it somewhere secure. Agriculture equipment endures exceptionally hard work, meaning you will likely need to replace tools under warranty at some point.


Garden tools and equipment

Owning a hobby farm finally provides the space for a robust garden, one of the most attractive perks. Not only does gardening lead to delicious results, but even absolute beginners can quickly get the hang of it. The key gardening equipment is fairly straightforward and includes:

  • Digging tools (both flat and pointed spades and a shovel)
  • A hoe
  • A rake
  • A garden fork
  • A quality garden hose

 While not strictly essential, many avid gardeners choose to invest in a composter. You don't necessarily need to buy one though, as many people opt to make their own homemade composting containers.


A few other tools to consider . . . 

If you plan to build fencing (such as to contain livestock), then invest in a fencepost driver and a digging bar. Fences regularly require moving or repairs, and these tools make those chores much easier.  

Also, heavy-duty flashlights are an absolute must. Hobby farms are prone to midnight emergencies, and there aren’t any streetlights to help illuminate the problem.


Growing Your Tool Shed Over Time

With these tools, you shouldn't have any problem effectively running your farm. However, over time you may want additional equipment. Each operation is unique, after all. By starting with the essentials, you can take your time understanding which additions to your tool shed will provide the greatest benefit. That way, you can confidently invest in the right equipment.

Ready to make the move to your own hobby farm? Compeer can help. Click here to find your specialist and secure the funding you need to get your operation up and running.

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