Small Farmer or Hobby Farmer – what’s the difference?


It’s difficult to define just what small farming is. A small farmer could be someone who raises a few head of cattle or alpacas on a five acre farm or a small farmer could be someone who has a substantial farming operation on several hundred acres.

In fact one corporate farmer claimed recently that as broadacre farms got bigger, running as few as 10,000 sheep was a weekend job!

Nowadays, there are few family farmers who rely entirely on the farm for their income. Either they work part time off farm or at least one member of the family will have a full time job in town.

Clearly the gap between small farmers and traditional family farmers is closing, as small farmers buy bigger farms and family farmers downsize or look for work off farm.


Hobby farmers can also be classified as small farmers, but there is a difference. While most small farmers would be looking for some financial return from their small farm, even to the extent of paying income tax, hobby farmers are not looking to invest a lot in their small farms nor are they looking for a significant return from their small farms.
However, that is not to say that they are not legitimate small farmers. Many hobby farmers are highly inventive people and relish the idea of experimenting with new ways of carrying out their hobbies on their small farms.

When it comes to paying income tax, hobby farmers are allowed to sell their produce for a profit, but only to friends and family.


- Small Farming or Hobby Farming.
- Australian Alpacas - Alpaca - Farming.
- Small Cattle in Australia - Small Cattle Breeds.
- Shedding Sheep - Dorper/Wiltshire Horn,
- Growing Lavender,
- Farmers' Markets,
- Goat Farming
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