Making a Livin'

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JMJ Farms
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Re: Making a Livin'

Postby JMJ Farms » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:36 pm

bball wrote:My wife tells me I would be money ahead if I sold ALL the cows. :yuck:


Mine is my CPA and tells me the same thing. Bad thing is, from a financial standpoint, I know she’s right. But from a non financial standpoint, they’re invaluable. They are about the only thing I do anymore that “knocks my tractor out of gear” for a while.
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Re: Making a Livin'

Postby bball » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:41 pm

JMJ Farms wrote:
bball wrote:My wife tells me I would be money ahead if I sold ALL the cows. :yuck:


Mine is my CPA and tells me the same thing. Bad thing is, from a financial standpoint, I know she’s right. But from a non financial standpoint, they’re invaluable. They are about the only thing I do anymore that “knocks my tractor out of gear” for a while.


It's just crazy isn't it. Some days i wonder whats wrong with me.
Sounds like the same conversations we have verbatim. I tell her they're what keeps me somewhat sane.

We may end up lake house neighbors one day if our wives have their way :lol2:
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Re: Making a Livin'

Postby skyhightree1 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:42 pm

I will keep working... and manage with the 5 head I plan on keeping... If I need any $$ I will start a go fund me and yall better donate... :lol2:
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Re: Making a Livin'

Postby Dave » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:55 pm

I find all this negativity amusing. I know young men locally who have a wife and kids that make their entire living off cows. The only thing they got from their family is a work ethic and cow knowledge. The rest they have done on their own. One could draw a pretty big circle around this area and 90% of the people inside that circle make their living off cows. Maybe a person can't do it where you live but there are most certainly parts of the country where you can.
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Re: Making a Livin'

Postby Jogeephus » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:04 pm

Dave wrote:One could draw a pretty big circle around this area and 90% of the people inside that circle make their living off cows. Maybe a person can't do it where you live but there are most certainly parts of the country where you can.


I'd be willing to bet there isn't the first Starbucks in the circle you drew.
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JMJ Farms
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Re: Making a Livin'

Postby JMJ Farms » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:11 pm

Dave wrote:I find all this negativity amusing. I know young men locally who have a wife and kids that make their entire living off cows. The only thing they got from their family is a work ethic and cow knowledge. The rest they have done on their own. One could draw a pretty big circle around this area and 90% of the people inside that circle make their living off cows. Maybe a person can't do it where you live but there are most certainly parts of the country where you can.


That may very well be the single biggest factor in the whole equation. I’ve got 100 head of commercial momma cows. No possible way to raise a family off of them in Central Ga. Unless one is willing to live in a teepee and ride a donkey to town. ONE of the bigger factors here is the fact that all the feedlots are in the Midwest. Freight takes a pretty sizable chunk of the farmer/ranchers profit. Another would be land prices.
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Re: Making a Livin'

Postby Stocker Steve » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:12 pm

shaz wrote:I could make a living on 100 pairs - my wife however needs more like 700 (lol)


How many cows have you bought her so far?
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Re: Making a Livin'

Postby bball » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:24 pm

Dave wrote:I find all this negativity amusing. I know young men locally who have a wife and kids that make their entire living off cows. The only thing they got from their family is a work ethic and cow knowledge. The rest they have done on their own. One could draw a pretty big circle around this area and 90% of the people inside that circle make their living off cows. Maybe a person can't do it where you live but there are most certainly parts of the country where you can.


This is key. There is only one family in my geographical area "making it" on cattle. +/- 200 head. 4th or 5th generation. Bought their ground many moons ago before it jumped to the 8-10k per acre price today. Highly respected and regarded in the breed they deal in. More importantly, theyre fantastic people.

I wrestle with my foolishness for trying to raise cattle in row crop country. Truth is the numbers Michael posted are about right for my area too. On beef averages, id need approx 200 head to make +/-75k on cattle. I would need more land in order to do that. More land here is not cheap. Leases are virtually non existent and there is no BLM land. I guess thats partly why so many of the row crop guys tore out their fences, tore down their corrals and quit keeping cows. Lotsa of work and expenses for little reward (financially anyway).
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Re: Making a Livin'

Postby skyhightree1 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:38 pm

Dave wrote:I find all this negativity amusing. I know young men locally who have a wife and kids that make their entire living off cows. The only thing they got from their family is a work ethic and cow knowledge. The rest they have done on their own. One could draw a pretty big circle around this area and 90% of the people inside that circle make their living off cows. Maybe a person can't do it where you live but there are most certainly parts of the country where you can.


I disagree as it being negative.. We are being realistic to what we know we need financially. Raising cattle is rewarding but for many the work vs reward are in 2 different books .. I like the rewarding feel of producing cattle .. I wish the rewarding feeling could be used on bills but it can't. I am glad for anyone who wants to do it and can that's just not my story.
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Re: Making a Livin'

Postby TexasBred » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:41 pm

Jogeephus wrote:Real money is in hay. Sell a million rolls of hay at $50/roll and you'll have $50,000,000. If you can't live comfortably off $50,000,000 you've got both a drug and gambling problem. This farming and cattle business is easy if you'll just put a pencil to it. :hide:

Joe you gotta have spreadsheets........lots and lots of spreadsheets....you can make them show exactly how much you need and at least one of them will always show you making a profit. :lol2: :cowboy:
Last edited by TexasBred on Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Making a Livin'

Postby Jogeephus » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:46 pm

TexasBred wrote:
Jogeephus wrote:Real money is in hay. Sell a million rolls of hay at $50/roll and you'll have $50,000,000. If you can't live comfortably off $50,000,000 you've got both a drug and gambling problem. This farming and cattle business is easy if you'll just put a pencil to it. :hide:

Joe you gotta have spreadsheets........lots and lots of spreadsheets....you can make them show exactly how much you need. :lol2: :cowboy:


Let's not forget the colorful 3-D graphs. The more color the more accurate your figures. ;-)
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Re: Making a Livin'

Postby Dave » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:34 pm

The average income for the nation is about $50,000. The "experts" put cow/calf profits at about $175 per pair. Using those figures it would take 286 cows to have an average income. The SIL sold his calves. Got over $1,000 a head of the steers and right about $800 a head for the heifers. The man I helped last winter sold his fall calves in June. He averaged a tick over $1,100 There are two young men locally that are within a year or two of 30 years old. One sold 346 calves on the video the other sold 270. Neither one as a day job. Both just jumped in and both seem to be doing fine. I wish I was in my 20's again. I wouldn't listen to those who said it couldn't be done (they were saying that back in the 70's too). I know guys who didn't listen to the naysayers and they are doing just fine now.
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Re: Making a Livin'

Postby snoopdog » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:46 pm

I just want to be able to afford pain medication
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Re: Making a Livin'

Postby Lucky » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:04 pm

Dave wrote:The average income for the nation is about $50,000. The "experts" put cow/calf profits at about $175 per pair. Using those figures it would take 286 cows to have an average income. The SIL sold his calves. Got over $1,000 a head of the steers and right about $800 a head for the heifers. The man I helped last winter sold his fall calves in June. He averaged a tick over $1,100 There are two young men locally that are within a year or two of 30 years old. One sold 346 calves on the video the other sold 270. Neither one as a day job. Both just jumped in and both seem to be doing fine. I wish I was in my 20's again. I wouldn't listen to those who said it couldn't be done (they were saying that back in the 70's too). I know guys who didn't listen to the naysayers and they are doing just fine now.


Gotta watch the farmers and ranchers that seem to be doing good. Things aren’t always as they seem. A sure enough Ag banker will stretch it out and make a hobo look rich. Not saying this is the case all the time but probably 95%.
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Re: Making a Livin'

Postby Stocker Steve » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:04 am

bball wrote:I wrestle with my foolishness for trying to raise cattle in row crop country.


I don't think the row croppers are making big $$$ at the moment. My primitive spreadsheet (I still need to work on the colored graphs) shows about $75 return to land and management in the Artic Vortex. Land rent locally is $35 to $60 per acre. Probably not as good as land in the I states, ;-) and not alot of return left after paying a land charge. So an issue with in either crops or cattle is how to scale the size of an operation.

Cheap feed, rather than cheap land, can be an advantage. Have you looked at operations other than cow/calf?
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