Lifestyle Farming Is the New Trend for the Wealthy

Farming, but make it an exorbitant display of wealth

lifestyle farming
It's like farming, but for rich people.
By Kayla Kibbe / November 8, 2019 6:13 am

For pretty much all of human history, farming has been the domain of the rural working class. These days, however, the backbreaking work peasants once performed for survival has become a pet hobby for the urban wealthy looking to escape the pressures of city life.

Dubbed “lifestyle farming,” the trend has become popular among wealthy Manhattan banking types in recent years, Bloomberg reported. Chris Andersen, the founder of Manhattan investment banking firm, G.C. Andersen Partners LLC, is one participant in the trend. The 81-year-old owns a farm in New Jersey he tends on weekends with the help of three full-time farmers he employs. “It’s the most exciting and interesting thing I’ve ever done in my entire life,” he told Bloomberg.

According to the Department of Agriculture, 41 percent of farms in the U.S. are run by such operators who have a primary occupation other than farming. It’s an expensive hobby, which is part of the reason it’s become dominated by Wall Street types. As Bloomberg pointed out, the Manhattan elite have long indulged in rural reprieves outside the city. Dabbling in farming is simply an extension of what Bloomberg calls a longstanding “tradition for the wealthy.”

While some lifestyle farmers may enjoy some additional income from the hobby, most see it purely as a recreational outlet. “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,” said Eric Hansotia, chief operating officer of agriculture machinery companies Agco Corp.

Money may not buy happiness, but apparently it can buy an extra lifestyle.

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