We want to grow the farm so that we can do the right thing by the animals but also be a viable business. The analysis and planning are easy when it's just a conversation in my head - but putting it on paper is a completely different beast.
Here are a few considerations: financial - can we manage our costs, do the right thing and make a profit?; compliance - do we want to be USDA and/or CDFA certified? it will broaden our selling options but create stress on the animals and cost us more $$; legal - obtaining business licenses and being compliant with the regulations for each kind of business (farm stand vs. cottage food industry vs. selling meat products); sustainable/organic/humanely raised - certifications are costly and include a lot of paperwork - do we want to pursue?; record-keeping - oy vey! animal registrations & creating specific forms for each of the animals to include feed rations, breeding cycles & health information and for the garden - planting & harvest schedules including seed sources, pest management & irrigation records.
Each of these considerations is an officially separate entity with different paperwork submissions, taxes and record-keeping. In reality, they all overlap at different times and in different places - so how should I keep track and manage? It's still a process of learning - which means there are growing piles of articles, paperwork, books and pamphlets next to my computer. I guess I can't just talk about it - I gotta do something about it. Aaaaaah, "growing paperwork."