A dreamy fool looking for advice...

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KentJ

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Hello Everyone,

This is gonna be a somewhat long post but I really would like some advice. So if you have the time, all responses would be much appreciated.

My name is Kent. I’m a single 28 year old male from Tobaccoville NC with no financial debt or criminal record to my name. I went to the Marine Corp at the ripe age of 18. I got out after just four years. After getting out I didn’t understand my peers and was confused. So I began asking questions about the world and looked for the answers on the internet. To put it simply, I have lost faith in my fellow man, our country and humanity’s future.

I fell in love with firearms during my time in the military and decided to pursue a carrier in machining, for the purposes of gunsmithing. I’m currently working as a machinist at an aerospace machine shop. I don’t really care for machining. I find the work to be very boring and monotonous.

I have given up on the standard life of marriage, debt and children. I figure I live only one time, I should probably live a life of adventure and make it worthwhile.

If I could create a hypothetical life for myself it would be one where I have a small self-sustaining farm, meet and marry a good woman and raise a few children together. That would be ideal. While I would prefer to not get into it, I have found this dream to be unrealistic. I do not make enough money for this to be done correctly. I have thought this through many times and added up the numbers. Not only is the math discomforting, but the whole woman variable is even a bigger issue. So I have moved on and have come up with new goals.

I am currently entertaining the thought of being a ranch-hand somewhere out west. This isn’t a thought that popped into my head today. It is a reoccurring thought for a few years now. The reasons why this sounds like a good idea to me are very simple. I want to live in a very remote area, ideally with climate extremes and very few people. I want to work outside. I find that hard physical labor is enjoyable, it makes me tired at the end of the day and I feel that I have actually done something. I’m missing that in my current line of work. I would imagine that working with animals would be good for my mental state. I also imagine that the overwhelming majority of ranchers are people who’s world view aligns with mine in many ways.

I don’t foresee beef going away anytime soon, so I would imagine that ranches will not be either. So the job security seems to be there. I have never worked on a ranch and know very little about raising cattle.

I have an uncle who raises black Angus to be sold as breeding cattle. He doesn’t have anywhere near enough work for it to be a full time job, I think somewhere between 60-80 head and he is retired with nothing but time on his hands. If I decide to pursue this whole thing then my plan is this:

-Keep working and keep saving money.

-Explain to my uncle what I want to do and get him to show me the ropes of making hay, calving, etc on the weekends. (as much as he can show me)

-Then either attempt to find a rancher online who will give me a shot, or just move out west and attempt to find work in person.


I would imagine that there are many young men like myself who have such a dream. I imagine that many of them move out west and end up wasting a ranch owners time as they quickly find out its not for them. I’m okay with working for free for a few months in the beginning to make it more enticing for a rancher to give me a shot. I feel confident that I have a work ethic that most ranchers would see as more than satisfactory. I am an honest and trustworthy person. While I am not a religious man, in no way would there be any problems where someone finds me to be a moral unhinged person.

So, what I’m asking from you guys:
-Am I being a dreamy idiot?
-Does my basic plan seem unreasonable?
-How would you go about getting on at a ranch if you were me?
-Is living and working on a ranch out west as peaceful as I imagine?

I have no problems answering any questions. So if you need more information in order to help me out then ask away…

Thank you for your time...
Kent




P.S. after proof-reading this I felt my post could be misconstrued as implying that I and suffering from PTSD and some sort of war hero angle. I never got to shoot a round in-country. In no way whatsoever am I a war hero or anything of the sort. Mentioning the military is crucial in helping you understand how I got to this point, but it has nothing to do with me seeing war or anything like that. Its complicated I suppose...
 

Stocker Steve

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Dreams are good and plans are even better. The problem is sometimes God has a different plan than we do, and we are poor listeners. A couple initial steps would be to join some ag related group(s), and find a part time job in an ag area that interests you, create some positive work references, and be open to change.
 

ALACOWMAN

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And if you plan on 'owning' any thing.. You won't be able to get it on a ranchhands pay..getting in the cattle business you gotta have a small fortune..
 

Supa Dexta

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Keep machining and work with your uncle, learn some stuff and then buy him out. Be miles ahead of your other idea. Plus its gonna be hard to get into any larger outfit without any experience.

Liken it to any other industry - If I said I've never cooked before, but think I'd like to be a chef in a fancy restaurant - think that would fly?
 

HDRider

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Not sure what to say that does not sound like a cliche. You have given this a lot of thought. Life is hard, and hard work is easy to find. Working hard has no bearing on the money you make. Some of the toughest jobs pay the least.

Machining is a good skill. Owning a machine shop could make you a lot of money.

Working with your uncle is good. Do you care about your uncle? Working for him will be easier if you do truly care for him.

Are you dreaming? Sure. To be young and to dream is one of God's gifts. Follow your heart. It may not lead to a pot of gold, or even a jar of pennies. Life can be full of compromises.

Do what you want, be good at it, love it and life will happen every day.
 

Farm Fence Solutions

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Kent, I know how you feel. I was a little younger than you, but I went west and worked a ranch for a few years. I was shoeing horses, so that combined with the $50/day in pay with my only expenses being insurance on my truck and trailer and a cell phone.......I was rich and having fun. Still hard to believe that they would pay a guy to rope and doctor in a pasture all day. I moved home, the right woman found me, and 13 years later, life is good. I wish I would have traveled a little more back then.....Maybe work a year in OZ or NZ. Lot's of your generation are taking retirement up front, and in my opinion, that ain't wrong. If I had it to do over, I would have liked to have ended up on a sailboat for a couple of years doing a circumnavigation, but I don't have any regrets about how things played out. I'd highly recommend doing something 100% irresponsible for a couple years. It got me in the right frame of mind to get on with my life. Thank you for your service, Marine.
 

bird dog

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I would buy a tract of land (that you can afford) in the farming area close to your current home and get a few cows to get your hands wet. See if this is what you really want to do. Buy a piece of land that needs work. Improve it. Trade up to a larger piece. In the meantime, keep your job. Gaining experience is expensive so if you can find some work for someone else even at no pay, you will be dollars ahead.
It will be a hobby for a long time but its possible over a period of 20 years to build up some equity in your land and livestock to enjoy the business and maybe even make a few bucks. If nothing else your land will almost always be a good investment.
 

shaz

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Having a ranch to come home to every night makes a boring job not so bad.

1) Find the right job
2) Get some land and cows
3) Buy a side by side that will carry A LOT OF BEER!

Enjoy.
 

RanchMan90

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I always wanted to do the same in my youth. Worked on several ranches and sale barns. Not that glamorous patching fence in summer and busted water lines in winter. Hardly paid enough to feed myself much less any livestock. I got a lot of job satisfaction working on pipelines and made enough to put together a few acres and cattle. Got to see a lot of country with that job and would allow you to slowly buy out your uncle or anything you want for that matter :2cents:
 

Ky hills

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Thank you for your service!
Nothing wrong with being a dreamer. It may be a bit off the topic of cattle, but I have a friend who is the epitome of a dreamer. He is now in his early 70's and has lived an extraordinary life fueled by his dreams and perseverance. He is from the mountains of east Ky, and has recently moved back home. He went to the Air Force, and when he got out he bought a bicycle and zig zagged cross country from California, up into Canada, and I believe all the way to the east coast, and back to his home in Ky. During his travels he would do odd jobs working for people he would meet along the way. He settled down near Louisville and worked for a construction company I believe. Then at a point in his 40's he decided to go across the country again, this time walking on stilts to raise money for muscular dystrophy. He has since written a book about his experiences. He now has a bed and breakfast in his east Ky home. His new dream is to repeat his earlier bicycle route again when he turns 80.
He calls himself a dreamer, and is very devoted to helping and encouraging people in need.

I think you have ideas and a plan, and working toward that may take you on some twist and turns that you weren't planning on, but that's part of life. Like someone else said keep an open mind. Having cattle has always been my dream and in spite of the problems that come with it, it's still rewarding to me.
 
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KentJ

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Thank you for the replies everyone.

I do feel that I need to clarify something. I have no desire to start a ranch. If I think a small 10 acre self sustaining farm with a woman and children is unrealistic then I in no way think starting or running a ranch would be any easier.

I'm not looking to make money. I'm not too worried for my future. I don't want to get into it, it's also against the rules to talk politics, but from 1989 to now the world has changed in many extreme ways. It's going to continue to change at an exponitially faster rate. I don't believe that grinding out another 28 years hoping that I can save enough money in a 401k and pay off a mortgage will be worth it by the time I'm 55.

I'm not looking to start my own ranch. I'm not looking to get rich. I'm looking for adventure and excitement I suppose. I'm not worried about my personal future. I'm more concerned about our societies future.

I just want some adventure in my life. To live a life worth living. I don't know what that means or what to do about it. I do know that machining is not the answer. I'm thinking that working on a ranch and learning about all sorts of things may just be my best option.

It certainly sounds heavenly...

I'm just trying to figure out the most realistic way to go about this whole thing. I Figure I could find a few people here to give me a few answers and lead me in the right direction...

Thank you again for your time and responses...
 

Workinonit Farm

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If you go to the Rural Heritage website, I think there's a link to some info about internships, where you can do just what you are looking to do.

Its out there, somewhere. I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for. Its not a crazy dream.
 

Dave

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I have a daughter who decided that she wanted to work on a ranch. So she quit a bank job where they had her on the fast track toward the top and moved to Montana. She hasn't looked back. You won't get rich. But rich is measured in more ways than money. It is easier to find a job in the spring than this time of year. There are jobs to be had. The hours are long. The pay is low. But if it is a life style that you want it is priceless. The Capital Press has help wanted advertisements weekly in Washington, Oregon and other Northwest states.
 

ChrisB

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How about getting on a harvest crew next summer? Start down in Texas and work your way north into fall. In the mean time get a CDL and learn to do some welding. Then after getting some time on equipment getting a job on a farm. While it doesn't sound as romantic as a huge ranch out west, the pay would be much better and would be much easier landing a job. Just something else to consider. Good luck and thanks for your service to our country.
 
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KentJ

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Well thanks for all the replay everyone. Might not have sounded like much, but its given me a better idea as to how to go about the whole thing. Thank you.
 

Muletrack

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Doable. But I don’t think
You need to work on a ranch. Making hay is a kid’s job, not rocket surgery. Learn a marketable skill and find a place in the country where you can keep a few cows. Working a good job, you can buy hay and feed. I sold 200 alfalfa bales this summer to guys doing just that. Opportunities to tend pasture will present themselves. Be patient. Life goes fast. Your uncle will be ready to retire in no time.
 

Chocolate Cow

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I guess if I was wanting to do what you're talking about, I'd head towards a sale barn. They're always looking for help. Once there, you'll eventually meet the local patrons & buyers. Nothing will get you acquainted with cattle faster than a sale barn. :roll: I'll warn you to be as cautious of an employer as they are of you. If you have a good work ethic, pick up on things fast, someone will notice. Local Co-op's seem to always be short of help especially during summer & fall harvests. My opinion is, you'll have to find some sort of job in order to get the job you want. One will lead to the other.
 

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