Does anybody make a living with cattle?

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shaz
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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Postby shaz » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:45 pm

midTN_Brangusman wrote:
shaz wrote:
midTN_Brangusman wrote:I have two neighbors that make a living with cattle. One runs around 800 momma cows, rents about half the land and owns the rest. The other has around 200 momma cows and runs 6-700 yearlings. They are both worth a lot of money, all of it came from cattle.


Around here it looks like the stockers are the most successful.



I agree, less inputs.


And probably a lot more volume and faster turnover.
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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Postby cowgirl8 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:55 pm

shaz wrote:
midTN_Brangusman wrote:
shaz wrote:
Around here it looks like the stockers are the most successful.



I agree, less inputs.


And probably a lot more volume and faster turnover.

I think it would depend on where you live. Here, its too wet in the winter.. People have tried, but found out cold and wet doesn't work well....
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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Postby Ol' 243 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:16 pm

cowgirl8 wrote:
shaz wrote:
midTN_Brangusman wrote:

I agree, less inputs.


And probably a lot more volume and faster turnover.

I think it would depend on where you live. Here, its too wet in the winter.. People have tried, but found out cold and wet doesn't work well....


No stocker operations in NE Texas? Really? . . . . . . . . . .glad you warned 'em that it couldn't be done.
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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Postby shaz » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:19 pm

cowgirl8 wrote:
shaz wrote:
midTN_Brangusman wrote:

I agree, less inputs.


And probably a lot more volume and faster turnover.

I think it would depend on where you live. Here, its too wet in the winter.. People have tried, but found out cold and wet doesn't work well....


Get's cold and wet here too. How do they do it in Nebraska and Iowa?
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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Postby kd4au » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:22 pm

Stocker Steve wrote:
Craig Miller wrote:So you think you can't live on that? From data usa:
The median household income in Winston County, AL was $33,194 in 2015


I know you can, and I know people that do. They burn wood, raise a lot of food, shop thrift stores, and drive used vehicles. But there are limits w/o going Amish.
Insurance is getting to be a big challenge.

At some point you need to focus on more income, not on saving your way to prosperity. You can search the Farm Business Management cost and income numbers for ideas - - looking at the average net (not much) vs. the top 20%.

Health insurance is out of control period,mine has doubled in two years. It has become my biggest concern and expense. What if it doubles again in the next two years,no way I can afford it, can't really afford it now.
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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Postby Stocker Steve » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:32 pm

shaz wrote:Get's cold and wet here too. How do they do it in Nebraska and Iowa?


Corn residue could be an option, but Northerners almost always graze stockers in the summer. :cowboy: That's why bringing up pot bellies of pasture calves in May is often used as a theoretical business approach.

Bud did share a winter grazing scenario for the west. Bought calves during the fall run, grazed stockpile during the winter and LOST a little weight. Sold hard calves for a profit :shock: in the spring.
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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Postby cowgirl8 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:47 pm

shaz wrote:
cowgirl8 wrote:
shaz wrote:
And probably a lot more volume and faster turnover.

I think it would depend on where you live. Here, its too wet in the winter.. People have tried, but found out cold and wet doesn't work well....


Get's cold and wet here too. How do they do it in Nebraska and Iowa?

Because the ground freezes or will hold up when wet. Here, its belly deep cold mud with no bottom.
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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Postby ALACOWMAN » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:51 pm

shaz wrote:
cowgirl8 wrote:
shaz wrote:
And probably a lot more volume and faster turnover.

I think it would depend on where you live. Here, its too wet in the winter.. People have tried, but found out cold and wet doesn't work well....


Get's cold and wet here too. How do they do it in Nebraska and Iowa?
shaz wrote:
cowgirl8 wrote:
shaz wrote:
And probably a lot more volume and faster turnover.

I think it would depend on where you live. Here, its too wet in the winter.. People have tried, but found out cold and wet doesn't work well....


Get's cold and wet here too. How do they do it in Nebraska and Iowa?
by raising cattle for their environment.....
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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Postby Katpau » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:46 pm

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.

The full time ranchers I am thinking of range in age from their early 30’s to 80+. There are many more where a spouse works at least part time to pay for health insurance. Some of these operations support three or more generations and some are on their own. Some have land that has been in the family for years and others lease almost all. Most started out by working at and eventually managing another ranch in their youth and eventually saved enough to go out on their own. I would say 400 cows would be the minimum to support a small family. In this area, many also run sheep. Some retain ownership to harvest and others sell at weaning. About half of those I know are involved in some direct marketing and some also have diversified to bring in hunters who pay for the privilege of trespass. All of the ones I know, either own or lease a minimum of several thousand acres. Irrigated land is scarce and will run more cattle, but most of this land can support less than 1 pair on 10 or more acres. The stocker grower runs as many as 10,000 animals in 4 states on over 100,000 mostly leased acres. While buying stockers in the Fall or winter and grazing them to about 800 pounds is his main operation, he does also run a few hundred pairs. When prices are good many will buy more land. Wealthy city dwellers investing in rural acreage have made this more difficult in recent years. They will pay much more than what the land is capable of generating in income. Fortunately they will often lease this land out for a fraction of its worth in order to keep their AG credit for real estate taxes.
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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Postby ALACOWMAN » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:01 pm

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.

The full time ranchers I am thinking of range in age from their early 30’s to 80+. There are many more where a spouse works at least part time to pay for health insurance. Some of these operations support three or more generations and some are on their own. Some have land that has been in the family for years and others lease almost all. Most started out by working at and eventually managing another ranch in their youth and eventually saved enough to go out on their own. I would say 400 cows would be the minimum to support a small family. In this area, many also run sheep. Some retain ownership to harvest and others sell at weaning. About half of those I know are involved in some direct marketing and some also have diversified to bring in hunters who pay for the privilege of trespass. All of the ones I know, either own or lease a minimum of several thousand acres. Irrigated land is scarce and will run more cattle, but most of this land can support less than 1 pair on 10 or more acres. The stocker grower runs as many as 10,000 animals in 4 states on over 100,000 mostly leased acres. While buying stockers in the Fall or winter and grazing them to about 800 pounds is his main operation, he does also run a few hundred pairs. When prices are good many will buy more land. Wealthy city dwellers investing in rural acreage have made this more difficult in recent years. They will pay much more than what the land is capable of generating in income. Fortunately they will often lease this land out for a fraction of its worth in order to keep their AG credit for real estate taxes.

50 head on a 1000 acres? don't sound like you live in cattle country either
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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Postby Dave » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:16 pm

ALACOWMAN 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.

The full time ranchers I am thinking of range in age from their early 30’s to 80+. There are many more where a spouse works at least part time to pay for health insurance. Some of these operations support three or more generations and some are on their own. Some have land that has been in the family for years and others lease almost all. Most started out by working at and eventually managing another ranch in their youth and eventually saved enough to go out on their own. I would say 400 cows would be the minimum to support a small family. In this area, many also run sheep. Some retain ownership to harvest and others sell at weaning. About half of those I know are involved in some direct marketing and some also have diversified to bring in hunters who pay for the privilege of trespass. All of the ones I know, either own or lease a minimum of several thousand acres. Irrigated land is scarce and will run more cattle, but most of this land can support less than 1 pair on 10 or more acres. The stocker grower runs as many as 10,000 animals in 4 states on over 100,000 mostly leased acres. While buying stockers in the Fall or winter and grazing them to about 800 pounds is his main operation, he does also run a few hundred pairs. When prices are good many will buy more land. Wealthy city dwellers investing in rural acreage have made this more difficult in recent years. They will pay much more than what the land is capable of generating in income. Fortunately they will often lease this land out for a fraction of its worth in order to keep their AG credit for real estate taxes.

50 head on a 1000 acres? don't sound like you live in cattle country either


That is 20 acres per cow. Lots of the west that would be considered pretty decent pasture. About average for central Montana. My wife's ranch in Southeast Oregon ran 250 pairs on 25,000 + acres. These are areas with nothing but cattle ranches.
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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Postby Katpau » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:22 pm

Dave,
You are correct that my ranch is not the ideal place for cattle. Of those 1000 acres. approximately 600 are heavily forested with Douglas fir about 25 years old. The rest is Oak Savannah or Pine (we need to remove cattle from the Pine in later gestation to avoid abortion). 40 to 50 acres are fenced off as riparian. We also have another 160 acres of mostly flat good land, which is leased out to someone who pays me more than I feel I could make on cows. I am actually planning to cut back to 20-30 cows to make less work. I enjoy having a few cows, but I am not interested in a full time job. I feel like I am old enough to deserve my retirement plus I keep very busy with volunteer work for the County Livestock Assn. and the Fishermen's Assn.
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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Postby Brute 23 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:26 pm

That explains it all... I need to move to cattle country. Apparently cattle country is the exact opposite of what I thought it was.
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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Postby Workinonit Farm » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:29 pm

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.

The full time ranchers I am thinking of range in age from their early 30’s to 80+. There are many more where a spouse works at least part time to pay for health insurance. Some of these operations support three or more generations and some are on their own. Some have land that has been in the family for years and others lease almost all. Most started out by working at and eventually managing another ranch in their youth and eventually saved enough to go out on their own. I would say 400 cows would be the minimum to support a small family. In this area, many also run sheep. Some retain ownership to harvest and others sell at weaning. About half of those I know are involved in some direct marketing and some also have diversified to bring in hunters who pay for the privilege of trespass. All of the ones I know, either own or lease a minimum of several thousand acres. Irrigated land is scarce and will run more cattle, but most of this land can support less than 1 pair on 10 or more acres. The stocker grower runs as many as 10,000 animals in 4 states on over 100,000 mostly leased acres. While buying stockers in the Fall or winter and grazing them to about 800 pounds is his main operation, he does also run a few hundred pairs. When prices are good many will buy more land. Wealthy city dwellers investing in rural acreage have made this more difficult in recent years. They will pay much more than what the land is capable of generating in income. Fortunately they will often lease this land out for a fraction of its worth in order to keep their AG credit for real estate taxes.


Excellent post! What you have said, I have found to be very similar to where I am, with a few exceptions. The stocking rate, per acre, is very different here and very few run sheep. Unfortunately, many of the larger farms/ranches have sold to developers------------- the next generation has no interest, the farmer/rancher is looking to 'retire' and selling most of the land will provide them with a nice nest egg.

I do know a couple of folks who make their living with cattle, but 1 or 2 of them are diversified, they custom bale hay, and the do some row-cropping as well.
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Re: Does anybody make a living with cattle?

Postby Katpau » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:53 pm

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.
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