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How Did Y'all Get Into Cows?

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OwnedByTheCow

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I've been thinking about the question for myself a lot recently. With considering college or not and how I'm going to manage making it so my life never sees a day without cows. Unfortunately it seems as though the only financially reasonable options to get a farm are to either mary into cattle or convince someone into letting me have their farm.

It makes me wonder, how did y'all get into farming and how are you making your operations work?
 

1982vett

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Grew up on and live on the land my grandparents bought in 1901.... cattle is the only farm commodity they and my parents grew that is still semi profitable on the scale we were ever envolved. So I guess the real answer is it was given to me and I haven’t lost it all just yet.
 

Bestoutwest

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I grew up going to country fairs in New England and was attracted to the cattle barns from day 1. My mom grew up on a farm big enough to support a family and I guess it was just in my blood. Neither of my parents lived anywhere but in the city with me as a kid, but when I was able to I bought my place with my wife. We have done everything ourselves, with very, very little use of credit. It's been a struggle, but it means we can have cows. We're going very slowly and only putting in money that we can stand to lose or on things that HAVE to be done. Instead of marrying someone to be part of their family that farms, marry someone that will love your crazy obsession of cows AND you. If they truly love you, they'll follow your dreams with you. Good luck!
 

ALACOWMAN

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OwnedByTheCow":3jed49x5 said:
I've been thinking about the question for myself a lot recently. With considering college or not and how I'm going to manage making it so my life never sees a day without cows. Unfortunately it seems as though the only financially reasonable options to get a farm are to either mary into cattle or convince someone into letting me have their farm.

It makes me wonder, how did y'all get into farming and how are you making your operations work?
Been doing it several years now, and my operation still ain't working...
 

True Grit Farms

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My great uncle homesteaded and started ranching in Florida, and I always wanted to be a cowboy like him. My wife comes from a dairy background and didn't want to see another cow. I don't know how young folks can afford to farm, or buy land at these prices. We just got lucky and bought property in the right place, and sold out at the right time and moved to the low rent district.
 

littletom

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Born on a cattle farm. Went to college and lived out of state several years training horses. Got married moved back to the farm to train horses, had 5 acres tobacco to have some extra income. That summer in 2008 had barn fire lost pretty much everything i owned and a bunch of other peoples show horses. I also lost desire for horses that day. Since that next day i have farmed. Bought and rented land and grew it as fast as i could. Cows are secondary to tobacco putting out 95 acres this year. I never planned to farm full time kinda just worked out. My wife is a large animal vet, and great no way i could make it all work with out her.
 

Caustic Burno

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OwnedByTheCow":10tu1qlb said:
I've been thinking about the question for myself a lot recently. With considering college or not and how I'm going to manage making it so my life never sees a day without cows. Unfortunately it seems as though the only financially reasonable options to get a farm are to either mary into cattle or convince someone into letting me have their farm.

It makes me wonder, how did y'all get into farming and how are you making your operations work?

Bought my first Brimmer when I was 14.
I worked for wages and pasture.
Been infected with the bovine disease ever since. Leased pasture for years.
Bought timber land,cut the timber paid for the land and clearing. You couldn’t do that today. The most I paid for an acre was 800 bucks most cost 600.
 

Brute 23

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Growing up we didn't have a choice if we wanted to help with the cattle or not. Luckily I always enjoyed it. At 16 I started managing a cattle operating which gave me great experience actually calling the shots... not just laboring. Over time I leased more properties and subbed them out to the operation I managed until I was financially ready to start buying cattle myself. I started buying a few, retaining a few, and was given a few to start my own herd.

My end game is to get a herd going so one day I can purchase property and have the cattle already to help generate any revenue they can.
 

LazyARanch

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Married into it. My father in law had been in cattle for many years so my husband was raised with them. I was more familiar with horses so I grew into it. Love them too, even though lots of work!
 

ez14.

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Brute 23":1gwx4a9r said:
Growing up we didn't have a choice if we wanted to help with the cattle or not. Luckily I always enjoyed it. At 16 I started managing a cattle operating which gave me great experience actually calling the shots... not just laboring. Over time I leased more properties and subbed them out to the operation I managed until I was financially ready to start buying cattle myself. I started buying a few, retaining a few, and was given a few to start my own herd.

My end game is to get a herd going so one day I can purchase property and have the cattle already to help generate any revenue they can.
someone hired you at 16 to manage a farm? Tell me more
 

boondocks

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Well, the hubs "bought" me a reg. Angus as a Christmas present about 10 years ago. Which was a strange present, as we were living in Chicago! His family had a small herd and "mine" was absorbed into theirs as a practical matter. We moved near them 7 years ago, to the, well, boondocks, and brought the cow and a friend over here. Got fences ready (still a work in progress with our bedrock an inch below the surface in places); got a squeeze/headgate; Bred to neighbor's bull the first year, then began to AI. Picked up a few more calves along the way. The most we've had is about 25 but we sold quite a few last year and are now going to try to stay a bit lower. Our feed costs are just too high in winter.
 

Brute 23

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ez14.":2s7vu13y said:
Brute 23":2s7vu13y said:
Growing up we didn't have a choice if we wanted to help with the cattle or not. Luckily I always enjoyed it. At 16 I started managing a cattle operating which gave me great experience actually calling the shots... not just laboring. Over time I leased more properties and subbed them out to the operation I managed until I was financially ready to start buying cattle myself. I started buying a few, retaining a few, and was given a few to start my own herd.

My end game is to get a herd going so one day I can purchase property and have the cattle already to help generate any revenue they can.
someone hired you at 16 to manage a farm? Tell me more

My brother and a friend of his use to work for the people mowing and doing odds and ends. At that time they leased out the land. I started helping them here and there on projects. When I was around 15 they were heading off to college so they turned it over to me. The guy who leased it didn't do any more than he had to. I was patching fence and all kinds of stuff non-stop. The "stuff" hit the fan when a neighbor got very upset and chewed the owner out pretty good for not keeping up with fences. The owner asked me if I could build fence and he would just pay for it because he didn't want neighbors upset with him.

After I got the fence done we were talking one day and I made the comment if you are going to pay for all the fence work and stuff you might as well own the cattle. He asked if I could take care of them and I replied yes. I told him I could get some costs together on what he would be looking at to get in the game.

A week or so later I sent him a spread sheet based off the costs from my family's operation with projected revenues and expenses. My dad and brother helped me get it organized.

I emailed it to the owner. He called me and asked a few question and at the end he said he was putting a check in the mail for me to go purchase cattle.

Looking back now it's amazing what our relationship has evolved in to from just a 15 year old mowing a person's yard.

I have another similar story from helping watch a families cattle when I was younger. Basically it goes the same way. Starts off with them just asking me to dip in and check water here and there. It grows in to some thing much more later on that continues to this day and had a large impact on my life.

People always want to "Advance to Go and collect their $200" but it really takes time to cultivate these opportunities and they tend to over look the simple things that lead to them.

When I was in high school I had 3 guys that worked for me mowing lawns. An older lady called one day and and wanted some flower beds cleaned up and stuff in the winter. I didn't have time so I told one of the guys, a friend, to give her a shout and he could have the job. There wasn't enough money in it for both of us. He ended up working for her for several years and she paid for all his college tuition.

Started simple... ended awesome.
 

ddd75

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i worked hard. bought land, bought some goats sheep cattle to keep it down.. liked them a lot so stuck with it.

never had any ag experience growing up.
 

CCCowman

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Granny and Dad always had a few (8-10) head around. Growing up I was always helping when i could. The last few years of Granny's life we got into raising bottle babies. We'd have 20 at a time. Me, dad and Grandpa feeding twice a day. Wouldn't recommend that to anyone!!

After Granny and Grandpa passed dad continued keeping some cows around. I went to college, got a job. Had to work out of town for a while. Kinda grew away from cows. Of course every time I'd come home Dad would have some project for me to help with or just want to show me his new calf.

Dad passed and I had to take care of what he left behind. Hadn't fooled with cows for a few years and suddenly found myself really enjoying it again. Now, I'm no big farm cattle man by no means. Most years I make enough to pay the taxes. Which is fine with me. I have 12 mommas and a bull. Lord has blessed me with 50 pretty good acres to keep 'em on. I check on the herd everyday. Most days sitting on a bucket talking to them. I think of my Granny, Grandpa and Dad often and I thank them for teaching me the joy of cattle.
 

ez14.

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Brute 23":2lj1du03 said:
ez14.":2lj1du03 said:
Brute 23":2lj1du03 said:
Growing up we didn't have a choice if we wanted to help with the cattle or not. Luckily I always enjoyed it. At 16 I started managing a cattle operating which gave me great experience actually calling the shots... not just laboring. Over time I leased more properties and subbed them out to the operation I managed until I was financially ready to start buying cattle myself. I started buying a few, retaining a few, and was given a few to start my own herd.

My end game is to get a herd going so one day I can purchase property and have the cattle already to help generate any revenue they can.
someone hired you at 16 to manage a farm? Tell me more

My brother and a friend of his use to work for the people mowing and doing odds and ends. At that time they leased out the land. I started helping them here and there on projects. When I was around 15 they were heading off to college so they turned it over to me. The guy who leased it didn't do any more than he had to. I was patching fence and all kinds of stuff non-stop. The "stuff" hit the fan when a neighbor got very upset and chewed the owner out pretty good for not keeping up with fences. The owner asked me if I could build fence and he would just pay for it because he didn't want neighbors upset with him.

After I got the fence done we were talking one day and I made the comment if you are going to pay for all the fence work and stuff you might as well own the cattle. He asked if I could take care of them and I replied yes. I told him I could get some costs together on what he would be looking at to get in the game.

A week or so later I sent him a spread sheet based off the costs from my family's operation with projected revenues and expenses. My dad and brother helped me get it organized.

I emailed it to the owner. He called me and asked a few question and at the end he said he was putting a check in the mail for me to go purchase cattle.

Looking back now it's amazing what our relationship has evolved in to from just a 15 year old mowing a person's yard.

I have another similar story from helping watch a families cattle when I was younger. Basically it goes the same way. Starts off with them just asking me to dip in and check water here and there. It grows in to some thing much more later on that continues to this day and had a large impact on my life.

People always want to "Advance to Go and collect their $200" but it really takes time to cultivate these opportunities and they tend to over look the simple things that lead to them.

When I was in high school I had 3 guys that worked for me mowing lawns. An older lady called one day and and wanted some flower beds cleaned up and stuff in the winter. I didn't have time so I told one of the guys, a friend, to give her a shout and he could have the job. There wasn't enough money in it for both of us. He ended up working for her for several years and she paid for all his college tuition.

Started simple... ended awesome.
nice!
 

TCRanch

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My husband retired early and his dream was to own enough property to hunt, fish and maybe buy a few cows. I had never even been near a cow. Bought the ranch, built the house, left TX, bought 33 breds, bought more land and 11 years later we've expanded. It has become my passion! Took classes, learned from mentors, learned hands-on, learned from our vets. My husband is older than me and has had a number of health issues so I basically run the operation by myself but I'm fortunate to have neighbors & amazing friends that will help me out in a moments notice.
 

M-5

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My Grandfather and uncle were large farmers (for the time) my first jobs as a young child was going around the electric fence with a hoe and a scoop cut from a Clorox bottle to clean the dirt out of water troughs and cleaning afterbirth out of farrowing house . then driving tractors laying irrigation pipe , making feed and the steady progression in jobs as I got older. I Got a Holstein milk cow and my GIL had a couple of orphan calves that year that I took . I picked up a few old cows as i had a few dollars which wasn't very often back then but as I made more money I bought a couple of small herds and culled had bought more .
 

shaz

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Grew up on a 30 acre hobby farm about 10 miles north of Huntsville Al. Decided to get back into farming around 2001 so I just cut hay for a while. Started this farm in Tn in 2005 on some of my dad's land then bought 173 acres that joined it. Bought another 25 acre hay field across the hwy in 2008.

I'm in the cow calf business but have no breeding strategy. The farm is profitable because I don't feed hay until sometime in Jan.
 

Dave

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My Dad bought me a day old Holstein bull calf when I was in second grade. By the time I graduated from high school I owned enough cattle to pay for two years of college. Life happened and I chased other things. But I always had a few cows. I listened too much to those who said it couldn't be done. So I never tried. In my mid 50's I decided to run more than a hand full of cows. To all those who say it can't be done. You are wrong. I wish I hadn't waited 30 years to chase my dream.
 

Aaron

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OwnedByTheCow":1xiibq2j said:
I've been thinking about the question for myself a lot recently. With considering college or not and how I'm going to manage making it so my life never sees a day without cows. Unfortunately it seems as though the only financially reasonable options to get a farm are to either mary into cattle or convince someone into letting me have their farm.

It makes me wonder, how did y'all get into farming and how are you making your operations work?

If you go to college, don't go too far away so you can always come home to visit relatively easily. If you are further away, or can't get back home as often, and have a vehicle, you can go to country auctions, production sales, etc. to satisfy a weekend farm craving. I did that quite often. Sure makes weekend more enjoyable than sitting in dorm room studying. Gives you motivation to have all your school work wrapped up before weekend. Also won't take long for a country boy to take notice in you at these rural functions and then you will have solved your current farm ownership dilemma!
 

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