Look up your nearest agricultural extension agent; their goal is to help you find the right niche for your enterprise, www.CSREES.usda.gov/Extension/
Take local ag workshops and classes offered through your county’s extension office.
Visit farms within your county/region to get a feel for what is and isn’t in production.
Visit gourmet food stores to learn about the products other people are producing. Gourmet food stores and cooperatives are great places for ideas.
Determine the space you have to work with, the time you can devote to farming, and your retail market accessibility.
Once you’ve found your niche product, research the ins and outs of producing it. Visit farmers in other states who might offer you personal advice. Norma Burns visited a lavender farm in Virginia before purchasing her first lavender plants. The farmer was quick to tell her what had and had not worked for him, giving her hands-on information that informed and improved her process tremendously.
Create a business plan that includes costs for creating value-added products. Will you need to purchase canners (jams and jellies), distillation units (essential oils), larger ovens (baked goods), or find a processing plant for your animal products? Include those costs in your initial set-up.
List of products/services that fill a niche:
Bottled milk and ice cream
Hay for horses
Grassfed beef and lambs
“High-quality” (emphasis intentional) mushrooms, other than shiitakes
In-tank (live) tilapia
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA food shares)
Local organic wheat
Bees and honey products
Vermicomposting (composting with worms)
Growing mats (of sedum) or green roofs
Fruit orchards (selling fresh and dried fruits and juices)
Growing seed for seed companies
Generating solar energy for urban neighbors
Season extension and year-round production in high tunnels. Meaning you could have product to sell during under-supplied seasons.