The questions people ask

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FarmerShell

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I never put much thought in to it, I'm mad now. 😉😂🤨 Should I be offended and mad? I do see why people would be now. It is like they maybe figuring how much you owe adding up how much money you have.
Dang cattle today is better than college. 😍 Life lessons 101.
I meant own.
Is there a wait to edit on here? I'm always hitting the wrong words.
 

herofan

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Must be a regional thing. Asking how many acres and/or how many cattle are just normal questions here. Can't imagine why anyone would get offended by such a simple inquiry.
I’ve thought too that it must be regional. I don’t discuss direct financial things. I’ve never been asked how much money I had, how much I made, or how much something cost, nor would I ask that of anyone else. For whatever reason, however, I never gave a thought to being asked how many cattle or acres I have. It’s common here. When dairy was a bigger thing here, it was common knowledge how many cows someone milked because that was one of the first things mentioned when it was discussed.
 

Dusty Britches

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I think most people ask these questions out of curiosity and it doesn’t really bother me, I try my best not to answer them though. The problem comes when they treat you differently because of the how much you have or are perceived to have.
Ditto.

My replies are always vague. How much land do you have? Reply - not enough.
How many cattle do you have? Reply: Well, this morning it wasn't enough and this evening it is too many. Or I don't rightly know. I haven't counted them in a bit.
 

farmerjan

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I have asked that question and it has been to get an idea of how many cattle can be run on a certain acreage. Most everyone else around here also has a "town job" so sometimes it is to get an idea of how much you can manage and still have to work off the farm. If anyone asks me I always give a general answer... oh, we run over 100 cow calf pairs, and then who knows how many head we might have at any time.... and we only own about 100 acres and then rent most of the land we farm.
Mostly I tell people that it takes 2 acres minimum to keep a cow for 6 months of grazing and then it takes 6 months of bought grain and hay to feed it the rest of the year. And then I tell them that we have all old equipment because we cannot afford to pay 100,000 for a new tractor and another 50,000 to buy new haying equipment because it will never get paid off.
Sometimes people need to see numbers, general numbers not exact..... but they have no clue that there is so much cost that goes into farming.... all they see is the "on the surface" numbers....and so by trying to be honest in a general way, and then tell them that if it wasn't for the "town job" we would not be able to make any payments on land/equipment...you fill in the blanks... it gives them a little better idea that it is not just a "profit in the pocket" thing.
Tell someone how much a good registered bull costs... so that you get good healthy calves that grow good to produce good beef, and they will fall over.... they think a bull is worth like 500..... not 5,000 or more...

When someone makes a comment about all the cattle we sell, I just ask them if they can live on one paycheck for the year and portion it out for the next 11 months.... and what happens when we get less in our paycheck this year than last year.....and the fuel costs go up like they are now.... and it usually shuts most up. And then tell them about the sick cow that cost 400 for the vet and we don't have health care ins to pay a portion, and the 800 dollar animal that died and there is no life ins..... and the idiots that opened a gate and a cow got out into the road and the lawsuit from the car that hit it and totaled their car....

I know that most around here ask because they have just genuine curiosity, and don't know any different....aren't from farm backgrounds so they have no real clue about what all goes into farming. Teaching them that alot of acres or alot of cows does not make one rich; , nor do the sales of a large number of animals means it is all profit and gravy in our pocket. I try to educate those that ask, that really have no clue and don't have an attitude, that the numbers might be big but the expense numbers are going to be big too..... and that we don't make any $15 hr minimum wage for the hard work we do and there is no overtime in the paycheck when we have to go out in the middle of the night for a cow that has trouble trying to have a calf, or that we have to make sure they have feed and water even if it is -20* F .... the cows don't know 8 to 5 hours.... in fact I think they know exactly when it is "off the clock hours" ....
 

shaz

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for those who get offended when people ask these questions, ask yourself - How did the subject come up in the first place? Could it be that they asked you about some football game on TV that you didn't get to see cuz you were doing cowboy/redneck stuff?
 

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