Do you own rural property? Do you want to make extra money without doing a lot of work? Are you looking for some new ways to invest? If you answered yes to any of these questions you will want to keep reading part one of my three part series. I personally chose to write this article as I am considering buying a home on rural land and would like to see if I can generate some passive income from it, join me while I investigate. 

There has been a trend over the past few years in that many of us are seeking "passive income". Investopedia defines passive income as "earnings an individual derives from a rental property, limited partnership or other enterprise in which he or she is not actively involved"[2]. In fact, passive income is the very reason that many write for infobarrel.

There are a number of ways to make money from your rural property. Some of the best options include wind generation, the conservation reserve program, quarry rocks, lease for hunting or fishing, harvesting lumber, livestock management, billboard leasing, house rental, gas and oil production and cell phone tower leasing [2]. Below I will begin by discussing the first four of these options. The rest will follow in parts two and three.

Wind Generation

Although there is some initial investment with wind generation, there is opportunity to make money in three ways. These include saving by purchasing less power from other sources, selling power back to the grid and receiving energy coupons from the government for producing renewable energy [6]. Generally when you are using wind generation you will be able to cut down your need for power from other sources by one quarter to one third [7].

Wind PowerCredit:

Selling power back to the grid is another option. The challenge with this, however, is that producing enough power to cover your own home needs while having more left over to sell back can be difficult but, is possible, with a lot of wind and an energy efficient home [7]. As far as receiving energy coupons from your government, you need to investigate the current local policies in place. There is a large variance depending on location.

Another consideration is the zoning bilaws of your area. Some may try to prevent you from building a windmill, even if it is small, due to visual and noise concerns of neighbors.

Conservation Reserve Program

The Conservation Reserve Program is a program run within the US by The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. It was originally put in place to prevent the erosion of soil.[2] To find out if your property qualifies you will want to look on their website and visit your local office. How the program works is that you are provided a rental payment from the Government for taking soil that is at risk of erosion out of active farming until it has recovered. It is essentially as though the Governement is paying rent on the unused land. Some of the of the basic characteristics required to qualify are that it be highly erodible land, be located in CRP prioirty areas and be devoted to highly beneficial environmental practise [5]. These contracts typically last 10- 15 years in length.  

Quarry Rocks

You may find that you have quarry rocks or some other form of valuable gemstones on you land. If you do you will want to investigate which type of rock it is. The first test is to see if the rock or stone looks like a stone you recognize. Next, check to see if it has imperfections. Generally if there are imperfections and it looks like a valuable stone you recognize that is one step closer to being an authentic stone of value. The next test is to find the density of the stone. To do this begin by breaking off a small piece and putting it in a glass of water with measured increments on it. Take note of the difference between the beginning water height and the height when there is the piece of stone in the glass to give you the volume.

Quarry RocksCredit:

Compare this difference to the weight, from a scale, to get the density[18].  With an internet search you will find the density that the stone should be to compare with what the piece you found actually is.

The type of rock will drastically change the price that you can get for it. That being said even a basic rock of good size can get you some money so it is worthwhile investigating.

Bilboard Leasing

Bilboard leasing can be a viable option if you are close to a highway or busy road. Renting out space for a bilboard will earn you between $700 and $2500 per month [13].


The first step to figuring out if this is a valid option for your property is to check the local signage bilaws. You will want If they do not prohibit bilborad signs then you are okay so far. 

Next, you will want to find a billborad sign broker who can help you in the process of setting up your billboard. Most companies will do all of the work for you and just pay you for the space rental and a google search will allow you to find the companies in your area. 

 Now we have discussed four of for the ways you can earn passive income from your rural property. While you are waiting for part two, try one of these out to see if it works for you.