Getting started and buying land question

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RAWilliams
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Getting started and buying land question

Post by RAWilliams » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:55 am

I am in the process of selling my house so I can buy some property, raise cattle, and otherwise enjoy country life. The first 2 - 3 years would be strictly for my freezer and to see if I like the lifestyle change as much as I think I will.

Since my primary source of income allows me to work from home 100% of the time I am able to move anywhere in the country (USA), but I am currently looking at the Montana/Idaho/Eastern Washington area. Primarily because it is beautiful country and it would be a drastic change from South Texas where I currently live.

This past weekend I drove out to a local cattle ranchers place and talked to him about the realities of raising cattle in terms of costs, day to day tasks, etc. When I mentioned to him I was thinking the Northwest, specifically Montana, he shivered at the thought and started talking about the extreme cold and how it was a very challenging environment. When I asked him where he would choose based mainly on weather, but taking into consideration land prices he thought Northeast Texas or Southeast Oklahoma.

I would like to pose the same question to the experienced cattle ranchers here. Where would you choose? I will be posting the same question on a couple of other forums to try and get the question exposed to a diverse group of people.

Thanks in advance,
Robert



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Re: Getting started and buying land question

Post by bird dog » Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:03 pm

I wouldn't argue with the ranchers pics. Northeast Oklahoma seems to be a nice area with reasonable land prices last time I was up that way.

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Re: Getting started and buying land question

Post by Bigfoot » Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:32 pm

Every area has it's limiting factor. It's mud here, it's probably cold up there where your talking. I like where your at now.
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Re: Getting started and buying land question

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:15 pm

Welcome to CT Robert.

I have 108 acres and a 2,000 sf house in Indianola Oklahoma with pens and a barn that’s perfect for what you want. PM me if you want to learn more.
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Re: Getting started and buying land question

Post by Stickney94 » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:22 pm

Cold is difficult. More on you than on the cattle. Cattle are remarkably hardy if given basic protection, feed, water.

Keeping waterers running in -20F is a pain. But, its done all the time.

Humans are remarkable at adapting.

If you can work from home I'm assuming that you need at least modest internet connectivity. You may want to investigate that. There are some rural areas that are barely connected. There are other rural areas, like mine, where our internet speeds are better than urban areas.

My personal opinion given your flexibility-- set up shop near a small urban area and work on developing a direct to customer market.

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Re: Getting started and buying land question

Post by Katpau » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:58 pm

All of the places you mention are likely to have issues with wolves. It does depend on where in the state you're located, of course. The desert is more of a challenge with water, but may have less issues with wolves. Washington is controlled politically by the Seattle population, so perhaps Idaho or Montana would be better. Just make sure that any place you buy has good access to clean and plentiful water. Unfortunately cheap land usually means no water, so you will probably not find any great deals on land.
I live in Southwestern Oregon and I really like it here. Land is reasonable and the weather is mild. Internet can definitely be a problem in many locations. We live only a few miles away from a major freeway and a good size city, but we struggled to get any decent internet for years. Our current provider is the best we've ever had. We bounce off a solar powered dish located several miles across the valley. We have download speeds of up to 5 mbps, but it usually runs slower and it disconnects for hours at a time almost weekly. When its out on weekends or evenings, you wait until regular office hours (9-5) for someone to fix it.

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Re: Getting started and buying land question

Post by Brute 23 » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:11 pm

The gulf coast in Texas is hard to beat for raising cattle. We make it some winters with out having to feed much at all. Waco area is also nice and cheaper. Slight bit cooler weather but not too cold. There are some primarily agricultural communities around there that are very nice.

I'm not going suggest cattle any where that gets snow. That just sounds miserable.
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Re: Getting started and buying land question

Post by RAWilliams » Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:15 pm

Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply. Fortunately I have some time to come to a decision since I cannot act until my current house sells. If I am still thinking Northwest, I think I will take the advice from another forum and rent a place up there for a year and see if the weather is something I can handle before purchasing property.

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Re: Getting started and buying land question

Post by ChrisB » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:05 pm

Unless you want to farm/ranch full time don't base your decision on cattle. Live where you think you would most enjoy the weather, lifestyle, distance between neighbors, proximity to entertainment/shopping, etc. I'm guessing there are profitable cattle operations in every state, and also operations that lose money in every state. If one area was more profitable than others, everyone would flock to that area driving land and rent prices up and it would not longer be the most profitable.

If you do want to make cattle a priority, every area has specific advantages. For example, long growing season, powerful grass, by products, crop stubble to graze, cheap land, etc. But each area also has a disadvantage, long winter, distance to market, little rainfall, high land prices, etc. One thing to keep in mind when considering land prices, is not all land is created equal in regards to carrying capacity and length of growing season.

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Re: Getting started and buying land question

Post by Dave » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:10 pm

I gave you some comments about Washington on another site. There are some nice looking areas over by Weiser Idaho. That is about 30 miles or so east of me. Just on the Idaho side of the Oregon/Idaho border Places are affordable. It is only 60/70 miles to Boise which has everything available. As for cold. I have had one day in single digits this winter (8 degrees). Last winter we never got to 10 or 12 and only that low for a day or two. Most of the time we run about 25 for a low and 40 for a high. Weiser is lower elevation than I am so a degree or two high temperatures.

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Re: Getting started and buying land question

Post by Lucky » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:39 am

Hard to answer your question without knowing how much land and what the end goal is. With the current trends I’d pick NE Texas or Oklahoma. Land is still priced fairly reasonably and feeding seasons are only about 120 days on a bad year. Stocking rates would also play into my decision. It is really pretty country up North but I just don’t see how those guys make it work with the stocking rates and long feeding seasons, but it does look interesting to me. Bottom line is it all depends on how much land you want and how many head you plan on running. If you want 10-30 head I’d go wherever you wanted, 100-1,000 I’d start studying the business side of things harder.

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Re: Getting started and buying land question

Post by backhoeboogie » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:18 am

I agree with the advice of your local rancher.
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Re: Getting started and buying land question

Post by farmerjan » Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:27 am

I agree that renting in an area you think you might like, would be smart to see if you like that weather. Going from Texas to Montana or somewhere way up north is a HUGE change. LONG winters, of FEEDING hay and frozen waterers, tough weather with snow and cold and wind.

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Re: Getting started and buying land question

Post by Dave » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:47 pm

I see the 25 ranch out of Battle Mountain Nevada is for sale. Probably a little too big for a starter place. It is nearly 1,000 square miles. Almost as big as the state of Rhode Island. 150,000 acres deeded with over 400,000 acres of private lease and BLM allotment. Multiple houses and working facilities. It runs 6,500 cows year round. Priced at a little over $30,000,000. Actually that is pretty affordable if you look at it on the per cow basis. It figures out to $4,615 per cows. That is pretty cheap per cow pasture. The problem is coming up with the down payment.

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Re: Getting started and buying land question

Post by ChrisB » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:00 pm

[quote=Dave post_id=1614750 time=1578890839 user_id=498]
I see the 25 ranch out of Battle Mountain Nevada is for sale. Probably a little too big for a starter place. It is nearly 1,000 square miles. Almost as big as the state of Rhode Island. 150,000 acres deeded with over 400,000 acres of private lease and BLM allotment. Multiple houses and working facilities. It runs 6,500 cows year round. Priced at a little over $30,000,000. Actually that is pretty affordable if you look at it on the per cow basis. It figures out to $4,615 per cows. That is pretty cheap per cow pasture. The problem is coming up with the down payment.
[/quote]

Dave, I bet now you wish you wouldn't have pulled the trigger so quick on your Oregon place. If only you would have known...

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