If you truly want this to be a profitable business and not a hobby, you should do you and your family a a huge favor and invest in some education that will help make this venture profitable.
Sign up and attend "Ranching for Profit" school, put on by Ranch Management Consultants. This will be the absolute best money you will ever spend on yourself, your family and your ranch.
These folks won't teach you or tell you how or what to ranch. They, and the class, will help you to think about what you want, what you are doing, and make your self ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing.
You will start to think out of the box and look for ways to be profitable. You will begin the process of planning your business for success.
Between the 7 day class and hotel accomodations, it will cost you upwards of 3 grand. Sounds expensive, but consider the cost of 2 good cows or 3 dead calves and you already paid for the class. Alot cheaper and more effective than running out and getting a $70,000 loan so you can play weekend rancher.
This was the most challenging and eye opening course that I ever took, and has changed the way I look at ranching & business forever.
There is life time support after the class by other real world ranching peers, by the company and by the freindships you will make along the way.
You could puchase the book by Dave Pratt, the founder, entitled "Healthy Land, Happy Families and Profitable Businesses". Link: http://www.ranchmanagement.com/book/book.html
This book alone will give you a taste of what the school is about and the advise given within will make/save you potentially hundres of thousands of dollars over the span of a ranching career.
I'll bet alot of folks are going to poo-poo all over this post, but I'd be asking them if they really know the true cost of production, their true margins and if they are really making a profit after taxes, overheads, interest, fair wages, equipment costs, operating costs, depreciation and opportunity charges. Most places won't pencil out no matter what excuses they come up with.
I challenge you or any other person wanting to get into ranching or who wants to ranch and be able to quit their day job to look into this school.
South Central Iowa