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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:28 pm
by ALACOWMAN
Katpau wrote:
Brute 23 wrote:That explains it all... I need to move to cattle country. Apparently cattle country is the exact opposite of what I thought it was.
To me "Cattle country" is where most of your neighbors make their living raising cattle. Since only a few of the posters on the first 9 pages of this thread knew people who made a living that way, I can only assume they are not in "Cattle country". Where I live, I am almost completely surrounded by ranches much larger than mine. There are still many places in the US where cattle are an important part of the local economy and most of your neighbors support their families by raising cattle.
. You can run cattle here, one cow per acre... If need be..and they don't have to go at a trot to graze...

Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:53 pm
by cowgirl8
I was talking to a friend at the vets the other day and she's just getting into showing heifers with her grandkids and while sharing experiences she mentions this...which was a big complaint I the 90s when my kids were showing heifers...There are reg heifer classes and commercial heifers with, as usual, the commercial heifers going to auction at our county fair. Lots of kids show pigs..... At the auction, more importance is put on selling the pigs, but not on the commercial heifers. Something like 30 pigs go to auction first and around 10 heifers at the last. This county is cattle country. As far as I know, there are no pig farms anywhere near. Just never made sense. One time one of my daughters got res grand on some meat chickens she was showing. After the pigs, there is not much money left in our, cough cough poor county, and her reserve grand chickens were getting no bids. So, I called her to the fence and told her to start doing backhand springs and walk around on her hands..lol.... she started getting bids and got something like 600 bucks. I knew those gymnastic classes would pay off one day...and before anyone jumps in, she put 'her' money in the bank.

Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:26 pm
by dun
Katpau wrote:
Brute 23 wrote:That explains it all... I need to move to cattle country. Apparently cattle country is the exact opposite of what I thought it was.
To me "Cattle country" is where most of your neighbors make their living raising cattle. Since only a few of the posters on the first 9 pages of this thread knew people who made a living that way, I can only assume they are not in "Cattle country". Where I live, I am almost completely surrounded by ranches much larger than mine. There are still many places in the US where cattle are an important part of the local economy and most of your neighbors support their families by raising cattle.

Something that some people lose sight of is that different areas of the country have ways that are totally alien to how they do things in their own particular area. The western states are a completely different world from the eastern world. Smaller more split up areas in the eat larger more expansive areas in the west. When we ran cows in the mojave desert it took 350 acres per pair. When water sources are 5-10 miles apart and range is measured in miles not acres things have to be done differently. Just the way of the world in this business. Neighbor lady here has cut down to a couple of hundred pairs, she's in her 90s and has been doing this for many years. None of her kids have any interest in the farm at all. Her place has been passed down from her grand parents but it will stop when she dies. She is donating all 600 and some acres to her church when she dies. I know full well that it will be broken into smaller areas. Other then her and a couple of others, 200-300 acres is considered a large holding. But with proper managment you can run a pair for every 2-3 acres here. The thing to remember is that just because in your neck of the woods something is done one way it doesn;t mean that it's the ONLY way and wouldn;t even maybe work in another place.
Frequently we get dairymen from wisconsin that move down here and they';re going to show these hillbillys how to dairy the "right way" Most either adapt to how things have to be done around here or they scoot back to wisconsin and tell folks how backwards we are. May be backwards, but there are plenty of succesfull dairymen (cattle farmers) that adapt to the area and do well at it. Based on how things were done in the desert I couldn;t understand how anyone could make a go of it here even with the better grass. Adapt to the environement and don;t feel superior becuase of how things are done in your area.
Off the soap box

Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:40 pm
by Workinonit Farm
dun wrote:Something that some people lose sight of is that different areas of the country have ways that are totally alien to how they do things in their own particular area. The western states are a completely different world from the eastern world. Smaller more split up areas in the eat larger more expansive areas in the west. When we ran cows in the mojave desert it took 350 acres per pair. When water sources are 5-10 miles apart and range is measured in miles not acres things have to be done differently. Just the way of the world in this business. Neighbor lady here has cut down to a couple of hundred pairs, she's in her 90s and has been doing this for many years. None of her kids have any interest in the farm at all. Her place has been passed down from her grand parents but it will stop when she dies. She is donating all 600 and some acres to her church when she dies. I know full well that it will be broken into smaller areas. Other then her and a couple of others, 200-300 acres is considered a large holding. But with proper managment you can run a pair for every 2-3 acres here. The thing to remember is that just because in your neck of the woods something is done one way it doesn;t mean that it's the ONLY way and wouldn;t even maybe work in another place.
Frequently we get dairymen from wisconsin that move down here and they';re going to show these hillbillys how to dairy the "right way" Most either adapt to how things have to be done around here or they scoot back to wisconsin and tell folks how backwards we are. May be backwards, but there are plenty of succesfull dairymen (cattle farmers) that adapt to the area and do well at it. Based on how things were done in the desert I couldn;t understand how anyone could make a go of it here even with the better grass. Adapt to the environement and don;t feel superior becuase of how things are done in your area.
Off the soap box


:clap: :nod: :nod: :clap:

Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:42 pm
by ohiosteve
I am surrounded by families that make a living off cattle. Most of the ground around me is very fertile ground and we usually get plenty of rain in the growing season. Even if you have poor ground, you don't have to go far to buy good hay. Here it's all about getting through the harsh winter, takes some planning but most folks I know have figured it out.

Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:12 am
by TexasBred
Katpau wrote:There are plenty of people who make a living on cattle, but you won’t find many with the time or the inclination to post here. It seems like most of the people with the time to post on this site don’t live in cattle country so I am not surprised that they don’t personally know full time producers.

It is still possible to make a living with cattle, but it does depend on where you live. In the Umpqua Valley of Oregon you can still find reasonable land to lease, but you will need to have lived her much of your life to have the connections to find it. Off the top of my head, I can think of 8 full time cow/calf operations and one stocker grower who are personal friends and have no income outside of the ranch. You won’t find any of them posting here. They don’t have that much spare time and most cattle questions they have can be better answered by a fellow rancher. My husband and I are retired from other occupations and run about 50 registered Angus cows on 1000 acres. We make a profit, but not enough to support our lifestyle. I would need up to 10 times as many cows for that, thousands more acres and it would mean working long hours. We do it because we enjoy it and it brings in a little extra income but we don’t depend on it as our primary income.


don't have many thousand acre ranches around here but 90% of the surrounding "million" acres has cattle on it. Small operators, some making money, some maybe not but that creates one pretty good size ranch and a he// of a lot of cattle. I do know they put a lot of meat into the food supply so I'll politely disagree with your comment. ;-)

Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:03 am
by M-5
TexasBred wrote:
Katpau wrote:There are plenty of people who make a living on cattle, but you won’t find many with the time or the inclination to post here. It seems like most of the people with the time to post on this site don’t live in cattle country so I am not surprised that they don’t personally know full time producers.

It is still possible to make a living with cattle, but it does depend on where you live. In the Umpqua Valley of Oregon you can still find reasonable land to lease, but you will need to have lived her much of your life to have the connections to find it. Off the top of my head, I can think of 8 full time cow/calf operations and one stocker grower who are personal friends and have no income outside of the ranch. You won’t find any of them posting here. They don’t have that much spare time and most cattle questions they have can be better answered by a fellow rancher. My husband and I are retired from other occupations and run about 50 registered Angus cows on 1000 acres. We make a profit, but not enough to support our lifestyle. I would need up to 10 times as many cows for that, thousands more acres and it would mean working long hours. We do it because we enjoy it and it brings in a little extra income but we don’t depend on it as our primary income.


don't have many thousand acre ranches around here but 90% of the surrounding "million" acres has cattle on it. Small operators, some making money, some maybe not but that creates one pretty good size ranch and a he// of a lot of cattle. I do know they put a lot of meat into the food supply so I'll politely disagree with your comment. ;-)



a heII of a lot more not doing it full time than those that are.

U.S. Beef Community
•Average age of a principle beef cattle rancher is 58.32
•913,246 total cattle & calf operations2. Of these: ◦727,906 are beef farms and ranches. Of these: ◾91% are family-owned or individually-operated
◾11% are operated by women

◦26,586 are engaged in cattle feedlot production. Of these: ◾80% are family owned or individually operated
◾5% are operated by women

◦64,098 are milk cow operations

•Cattle inventory: 93.5 million, up 1.8% from January 20163 ◦31.2 million beef cows ◾6.4 million beef replacement heifers in 2017, a 1.3% increase from 2016

◦9.35 million milk cows
◦35 million head calf crop (2016)

•The average beef cow herd size is 40 head of cattle2
•Of the 30,219 feedlots those with less than 1,000 head of capacity compose the vast majority of U.S. feedlots (93%)5
•As of Jan. 1, 2016 of the 13.1 million head on feed, feedlots with greater than 1,000 head capacity account for 81% of all cattle on feed5
•U.S. beef production in 2016 (commercial carcass weight) was 25.2 billion pounds4
•U.S. commercial slaughter in 2016 was 30.5 million head3
•The amount of beef consumed in the U.S. (i.e. purchased by consumers in foodservice and retail) in 2016 was 25.668 billion pounds1
•The amount of beef consumed in the U.S. Per Capita 55.7 lbs
•Average price of USDA Choice beef sold in retail in 2016 was $5.96/lb down from $6.29/lb in 20151
•Value of U.S. beef exports (including variety meat) in 2016: $6.343 billion, up from $6.302 billion in 20156
•Volume of beef export: 1,187,050 (metric tons) in 2016 up from 1,067,614 (metric tons) in 20156

Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:25 am
by Allenw
Dave wrote:Some it is just a matter that they were in the right place at the right time. I know a guy who sold his fairly nice house and 20 acres here. Bought 2,000 acres of sage brush and rock for $175 a acre. He also picked up a BLM lease to summer the cows on. That may seem cheap to many here but that was all it was worth then and still today. He was running a few cows on BLM lease and wintering on that rock and sage. Them they built a destination resort next door. Suddenly his land was worth $1,500 an acre. That set him up on real nice ranch where he runs 750 pairs. No inheritance, no big money from outside work, just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.


There's a guy that worked in this area whose brother in law inherited a ranch and didn't want it. I don't know what he paid his brother in law for it but he bought it including the mineral rights just before they started leasing and drilling.

Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:31 am
by Hunter
Just wanted to post this for reference.

http://www.cattlerange.com/cattle-graph ... mbers.html

Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:13 am
by Dave
The two areas I mentioned earlier were in Harney County Oregon and Mussleshell County Montana. My wife owned a ranch in Harney county. The county has 10,226 square miles which makes it bigger than six states. There are 7,200 people in the county. About 2,800 of those people live in the one bigger town. That leaves 4,400 people living out in the country. That works out to 2.3 square miles per person or about 1,470 acres per person. When you subtract the smaller land owner from the mix there are some huge ranches. The wife's neighbor to the north was Roaring Springs Ranch. They run over 6,000 cows on more than one million acres. Their remuda is about 150 head of horses.
Mussleshell county is where my daughter first worked when she moved to Montana. The first rancher she worked for is the one who told me they average 20 acres per cow. That county has 1,965 square miles. The total population is 4,582 people with 1,840 of them living in the one town. It works out to 0.71 square miles per person living in the rural areas. 458 acres for every man, woman, and child.
Both of these counties are almost nothing but cattle ranches.

Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:31 am
by TexasBred
M-5 wrote:
don't have many thousand acre ranches around here but 90% of the surrounding "million" acres has cattle on it. Small operators, some making money, some maybe not but that creates one pretty good size ranch and a he// of a lot of cattle. I do know they put a lot of meat into the food supply so I'll politely disagree with your comment. ;-)


a heII of a lot more not doing it full time than those that are.

U.S. Beef Community
•Average age of a principle beef cattle rancher is 58.32
•913,246 total cattle & calf operations2. Of these: ◦727,906 are beef farms and ranches. Of these: ◾91% are family-owned or individually-operated
◾11% are operated by women

◦26,586 are engaged in cattle feedlot production. Of these: ◾80% are family owned or individually operated
◾5% are operated by women

◦64,098 are milk cow operations

•Cattle inventory: 93.5 million, up 1.8% from January 20163 ◦31.2 million beef cows ◾6.4 million beef replacement heifers in 2017, a 1.3% increase from 2016

◦9.35 million milk cows
◦35 million head calf crop (2016)

•The average beef cow herd size is 40 head of cattle2
•Of the 30,219 feedlots those with less than 1,000 head of capacity compose the vast majority of U.S. feedlots (93%)5
•As of Jan. 1, 2016 of the 13.1 million head on feed, feedlots with greater than 1,000 head capacity account for 81% of all cattle on feed5
•U.S. beef production in 2016 (commercial carcass weight) was 25.2 billion pounds4
•U.S. commercial slaughter in 2016 was 30.5 million head3
•The amount of beef consumed in the U.S. (i.e. purchased by consumers in foodservice and retail) in 2016 was 25.668 billion pounds1
•The amount of beef consumed in the U.S. Per Capita 55.7 lbs
•Average price of USDA Choice beef sold in retail in 2016 was $5.96/lb down from $6.29/lb in 20151
•Value of U.S. beef exports (including variety meat) in 2016: $6.343 billion, up from $6.302 billion in 20156
•Volume of beef export: 1,187,050 (metric tons) in 2016 up from 1,067,614 (metric tons) in 20156

:nod: :nod: :nod:

Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:25 pm
by Katpau
TexasBred wrote:
Katpau wrote:There are plenty of people who make a living on cattle, but you won’t find many with the time or the inclination to post here. It seems like most of the people with the time to post on this site don’t live in cattle country so I am not surprised that they don’t personally know full time producers.

It is still possible to make a living with cattle, but it does depend on where you live. In the Umpqua Valley of Oregon you can still find reasonable land to lease, but you will need to have lived her much of your life to have the connections to find it. Off the top of my head, I can think of 8 full time cow/calf operations and one stocker grower who are personal friends and have no income outside of the ranch. You won’t find any of them posting here. They don’t have that much spare time and most cattle questions they have can be better answered by a fellow rancher. My husband and I are retired from other occupations and run about 50 registered Angus cows on 1000 acres. We make a profit, but not enough to support our lifestyle. I would need up to 10 times as many cows for that, thousands more acres and it would mean working long hours. We do it because we enjoy it and it brings in a little extra income but we don’t depend on it as our primary income.


don't have many thousand acre ranches around here but 90% of the surrounding "million" acres has cattle on it. Small operators, some making money, some maybe not but that creates one pretty good size ranch and a he// of a lot of cattle. I do know they put a lot of meat into the food supply so I'll politely disagree with your comment. ;-)
I am not at all sure what it is we disagree on. Since the average cattle herd in this country is less then 50 cows, I would agree that most must supplement that income. The question was "Does anyone make a living with cattle?" My answer to that was, yes they do. I probably should not have use cattle country in my response since it apparently was taken as some sort of an insult to those who are not in a situation where making their living with cattle is very likely. I don't know if it is possible to make a living raising cattle where you live or where most CT posters live, but the fact that so few seemed to know someone who did, made it appear that it would be difficult. Land prices, whether you rent or own, are probably the biggest obstacle. There are places where it is possible, if you have the knowledge, skill-set and ability to work for it and people do make a living with cattle.

Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:58 pm
by dieselbeef
and have paid for land....

Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:17 pm
by M-5
Katpau wrote:
TexasBred wrote:
Katpau wrote:There are plenty of people who make a living on cattle, but you won’t find many with the time or the inclination to post here. It seems like most of the people with the time to post on this site don’t live in cattle country so I am not surprised that they don’t personally know full time producers.

It is still possible to make a living with cattle, but it does depend on where you live. In the Umpqua Valley of Oregon you can still find reasonable land to lease, but you will need to have lived her much of your life to have the connections to find it. Off the top of my head, I can think of 8 full time cow/calf operations and one stocker grower who are personal friends and have no income outside of the ranch. You won’t find any of them posting here. They don’t have that much spare time and most cattle questions they have can be better answered by a fellow rancher. My husband and I are retired from other occupations and run about 50 registered Angus cows on 1000 acres. We make a profit, but not enough to support our lifestyle. I would need up to 10 times as many cows for that, thousands more acres and it would mean working long hours. We do it because we enjoy it and it brings in a little extra income but we don’t depend on it as our primary income.


don't have many thousand acre ranches around here but 90% of the surrounding "million" acres has cattle on it. Small operators, some making money, some maybe not but that creates one pretty good size ranch and a he// of a lot of cattle. I do know they put a lot of meat into the food supply so I'll politely disagree with your comment. ;-)
I am not at all sure what it is we disagree on. Since the average cattle herd in this country is less then 50 cows, I would agree that most must supplement that income. The question was "Does anyone make a living with cattle?" My answer to that was, yes they do. I probably should not have use cattle country in my response since it apparently was taken as some sort of an insult to those who are not in a situation where making their living with cattle is very likely. I don't know if it is possible to make a living raising cattle where you live or where most CT posters live, but the fact that so few seemed to know someone who did, made it appear that it would be difficult. Land prices, whether you rent or own, are probably the biggest obstacle. There are places where it is possible, if you have the knowledge, skill-set and ability to work for it and people do make a living with cattle.


there are quite a few that farm fulltime here almost all have a couple hundred head and a few run several thousand. This area is primarily agriculture and if you have 3 acres of pasture per pair you can put them on auto pilot and check water every couple days ..

Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:21 pm
by TennesseeTuxedo
M-5 wrote:
Katpau wrote:
TexasBred wrote:
don't have many thousand acre ranches around here but 90% of the surrounding "million" acres has cattle on it. Small operators, some making money, some maybe not but that creates one pretty good size ranch and a he// of a lot of cattle. I do know they put a lot of meat into the food supply so I'll politely disagree with your comment. ;-)
I am not at all sure what it is we disagree on. Since the average cattle herd in this country is less then 50 cows, I would agree that most must supplement that income. The question was "Does anyone make a living with cattle?" My answer to that was, yes they do. I probably should not have use cattle country in my response since it apparently was taken as some sort of an insult to those who are not in a situation where making their living with cattle is very likely. I don't know if it is possible to make a living raising cattle where you live or where most CT posters live, but the fact that so few seemed to know someone who did, made it appear that it would be difficult. Land prices, whether you rent or own, are probably the biggest obstacle. There are places where it is possible, if you have the knowledge, skill-set and ability to work for it and people do make a living with cattle.


there are quite a few that farm fulltime here almost all have a couple hundred head and a few run several thousand. This area is primarily agriculture and if you have 3 acres of pasture per pair you can put them on auto pilot and check water every couple days ..


Get decent water stations and you might not have to check that often.