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Gushatman

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I'm a 31 yr. old from Wisconsin. I've tried most every avenue to getting started farming/ranching on my own. I even have a rock solid business plan. The banks still won't do anything. Any help would be appreciated! I know my way around a horse, calving and doctoring cows, and all the like.
 

Denny

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Start with one cow and work up from there.Thats what I did.of course it helps if she's bred and then you need a bull.
 

Hayguy

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wasn't there a new member on here a few day's ago called himself Cowbanker? might be worth a shot.
 

Gushatman

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Thanks for all the help folks. I guess I should mention, owning property helps a bunch (or at least being able to rent something) TOO MANY cropaholics around here.
 

Clarencen

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There are a lot of people out there today just like you. There is no magic formula. You have to look it straight in the face be realistic and use logic. Banks today will not lend money on a shoestring. There is no longer any government sponcered organization or bank that will guarantee a loan. You can't start out today with just a mule, a plow. and determination.

My advise to young people today is find a good paying job, then put the dollar you earned today on top of the dollar you earned yesterday. When you get enough together, you can buy a fruit stand, or a farm. I know that doesn't sound very sympathic.

I was 41 years old before I owned a square foot of land. I did have a base on my families farm for a start, my dad could not operate it anymore. I stayed home to keep it together. I have had some good years since, but now I wonder how many years I can get along with what I have accumulated. Again, I have to look face to face with reality.
 

RSL

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Are you firmly rooted in your present location?
Are there opportunities for things such as
1. share cows
2. working for someone who will let you grow a cowherd on their place as part of your pay
3. cow leasing options, land leasing options that will use deferred calves as payment?
4. absentee owners (eg: doctor's with a house in the country) that require professional property management

You should read Greg Judy's "No Risk Ranching". It provides an interesting approach to ranching in a populated, high land price area.
 

R A

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editied: I don't have any business commenting on a topic like this right now.
 

Wyoming Wind

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Not sure if you are wanting to relocate where it's possible to buy/lease some land; but here in Wyoming they have a WAGON program---it's a new mentorship program that pairs individuals like you with ranches/ranchers to help you get a start in cattle ranching when you won't have banks back you or family operations to take over. Look it up: you can find an article in the Feb 4th Wyoming Livestock Roundup. It's a very interesting program. You can look up info on it at wyomingbusiness.org/program/wagon-prgram/5724
Best of luck to you. We had a small dab of 18 cows as of 6 years ago and had to keep every crappy heifer calf to try and increase our numbers. Then a neighboring ranch came up for lease 3 years ago, very lucky for us, and we went in the hole and bought 70 pair when good pairs were only $1200 and fell into leasing 150 nice cows too. We feel very fortunate; all the cards fell into place for us. I'm sure they will for you too!
 

Justin

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Faster horses said:
I Luv Herfrds said:
Have you looked at the FSA first time farmer loan?

ILH, glad you mentioned this.
FSA has some really good programs to help a beginning farmer get
started, and 31 is not too old. I know this for a fact.

i agree. that is the route we took. from what i remember, all the paperwork will make ya cross eyed for some time, but it will be the cheapest money you'll ever borrow.

also, i think share or lease cows is a good option right now considering what it would cost to go buy bred cows.
 

littlejoe

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Denny said:
Start with one cow and work up from there.Thats what I did.of course it helps if she's bred and then you need a bull.

And you can maybe sell the cow to get enuf $$ for down payment on the bull. This is called 'leverage'. 8)

Sorry--can't help myself, sometimes.

Ok--you don't need to own any land to be in ag. You need to control some land, to have access to it. Land has traditionally been a good long term investment----but rate of return is pretty small, interest can eat ya' up. You need a higher return on investment to get started, then hopefully find a house with some acreage--you gotta live someplace anyhow.

I'd suggest 'leveraging' the assets you have---youth and energy. Ag producers are aging---maybe look for somebody who needs some help, maybe he's got facilities and rough ground suitable for livestock, maybe you can trade work for this or use of land or equipement, or both.

Some of these people don't have anybody to carry on. And $$ ain't the most important thing to some of us. Maybe you work your way into a place.

Look for niches---One of my buddys moved into an area that is getting horribly built up---the bitteroot. He's a great farmer. All kinds of deals offerred him----weedpatch farms being held for develpement----very advantageous for the developer to keep it in ag--for now---property tax wise and get it cleaned up. His kid's custom haying small acreages and charging more for the service than the hay is worth---big hassle moving equipment, owners basically want it hayed for looks and fire hazard, maybe a little hay for their horses. Range is available, as lotsa the hay base is chopped up for subdivision, producers have sold out that and quit cows. Maybe find one piece of equipment/service that is lacking in area, offer it, do a good job---this should lead to more contacts and other opportunitys. You don't need new iron--ya need good iron, keep it up, have it ready, run it right----leads to all sorts of other opportunitys.

Put yourself out there---stop for lunch at the little local cafes with pickup trucks and dogs in the back---visit, tell your story, meet people, ask questions---all it costs you is lunch and you gotta eat anyhow.

Do a good job---can't hardly pick up enuf land around here to swing a cat---hard working neighbor kid leased a place 75 miles from here where it seems everybody in area had no kids or they all aired out---neighbors watched him a couple yrs, are now showing up at his house and offering deals.

You get started doing something, apples aint' necessarrily gonna start falling in your lap---we're conservative people, we like to watch ya' for a while---but we are observant.

The 'beginning farmer program' was mentioned-----I was on fsa committee, discovered in Montana we had--at that time, anyhow---about enuf $$ to set up one guy---in the whole state!--per year.

A lot of the stuff we do is pretty simple--or i'm pretty simple--take cows

You got 2 things, period, that influence them:

1. genetics
2. envirionment.

3 ways to make more money with any 'bulk commodity'--period:

1. sell more of them
2. produce it cheaper
3. sell it for more $.

We got so many minutes in our life--and we don't know how many. We get to spend them however we want----If this is what you want, go for it and good luck to ya'.
 

Soapweed

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littlejoe said:
Denny said:
Start with one cow and work up from there.Thats what I did.of course it helps if she's bred and then you need a bull.

And you can maybe sell the cow to get enuf $$ for down payment on the bull. This is called 'leverage'. 8)

Sorry--can't help myself, sometimes.

Ok--you don't need to own any land to be in ag. You need to control some land, to have access to it. Land has traditionally been a good long term investment----but rate of return is pretty small, interest can eat ya' up. You need a higher return on investment to get started, then hopefully find a house with some acreage--you gotta live someplace anyhow.

I'd suggest 'leveraging' the assets you have---youth and energy. Ag producers are aging---maybe look for somebody who needs some help, maybe he's got facilities and rough ground suitable for livestock, maybe you can trade work for this or use of land or equipement, or both.

Some of these people don't have anybody to carry on. And $$ ain't the most important thing to some of us. Maybe you work your way into a place.

Look for niches---One of my buddys moved into an area that is getting horribly built up---the bitteroot. He's a great farmer. All kinds of deals offerred him----weedpatch farms being held for develpement----very advantageous for the developer to keep it in ag--for now---property tax wise and get it cleaned up. His kid's custom haying small acreages and charging more for the service than the hay is worth---big hassle moving equipment, owners basically want it hayed for looks and fire hazard, maybe a little hay for their horses. Range is available, as lotsa the hay base is chopped up for subdivision, producers have sold out that and quit cows. Maybe find one piece of equipment/service that is lacking in area, offer it, do a good job---this should lead to more contacts and other opportunitys. You don't need new iron--ya need good iron, keep it up, have it ready, run it right----leads to all sorts of other opportunitys.

Put yourself out there---stop for lunch at the little local cafes with pickup trucks and dogs in the back---visit, tell your story, meet people, ask questions---all it costs you is lunch and you gotta eat anyhow.

Do a good job---can't hardly pick up enuf land around here to swing a cat---hard working neighbor kid leased a place 75 miles from here where it seems everybody in area had no kids or they all aired out---neighbors watched him a couple yrs, are now showing up at his house and offering deals.

You get started doing something, apples aint' necessarrily gonna start falling in your lap---we're conservative people, we like to watch ya' for a while---but we are observant.

The 'beginning farmer program' was mentioned-----I was on fsa committee, discovered in Montana we had--at that time, anyhow---about enuf $$ to set up one guy---in the whole state!--per year.

A lot of the stuff we do is pretty simple--or i'm pretty simple--take cows

You got 2 things, period, that influence them:

1. genetics
2. envirionment.

3 ways to make more money with any 'bulk commodity'--period:

1. sell more of them
2. produce it cheaper
3. sell it for more $.

We got so many minutes in our life--and we don't know how many. We get to spend them however we want----If this is what you want, go for it and good luck to ya'.

Those points were summed up very nicely, littlejoe. Aspiring young agriculturists can learn a lot from your experiences and observations.
 

littlejoe

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Thanks, Gentlemen~~

And Denny---I agree with you.

My joking remark came from an old postcard---a city dude leaning across the fence to a crusty ol' timer---"Well, you told me that to get a calf, to buy a cow. I bought a cow--no calf. Said I needed a bull. I sold the cow, bought a bull--still no calf'

We started with quite small 'livestock'. Dug worms and put a sign by the road. 30 for a quarter. Each bought a dairy calf with the proceeds. Ran first ones over to yearlings. Brothers each got a nice check, somebody shot mine. I found the empty shell casing. Brass wasn't worth much back then. It's been all gravy and easy sleddin' ever since :p
 

Gushatman

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I want to thank you all for the advice shown, it sure means a lot to an aspiring young farmer/rancher that there are some folks still out there who are willing to help out a new comer.
 

Denny

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littlejoe said:
Thanks, Gentlemen~~

And Denny---I agree with you.

My joking remark came from an old postcard---a city dude leaning across the fence to a crusty ol' timer---"Well, you told me that to get a calf, to buy a cow. I bought a cow--no calf. Said I needed a bull. I sold the cow, bought a bull--still no calf'

We started with quite small 'livestock'. Dug worms and put a sign by the road. 30 for a quarter. Each bought a dairy calf with the proceeds. Ran first ones over to yearlings. Brothers each got a nice check, somebody shot mine. I found the empty shell casing. Brass wasn't worth much back then. It's been all gravy and easy sleddin' ever since :p

Come to think of it you don't even need a bull. Just a neighbor with one and a poor fence.
 

jodywy

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there a couple places listed in Southern Wyoming , one around 2000 deeded acres with 2 BLM permits that will let you run up to 450 cows, there a concervatin easment on the deeded bace property and it listed at a million, but think one could pick it up for around $600,000, big country and a lot of horse back, improvements are off the grid. the other place is about the same deal but more money 2600 deeded and over 20,000 BLM
 

mrj

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A point no one mentioned, but which is probably assumed everyone knows: personal integrity means a lot in dealing with anyone in business. And it seems to be in too short a supply right now, so ALWAYS keep it foremost in all your dealings with folks. Acknowledge and appreciate anyone who helps you along the way. Give back to your community, within your ability, and use that 'Golden Rule' as it was intended. What goes around comes around still works.

Baxter Black has an excellent new book detailing his life experiences in the business world, from small entrepreneur beginning with his little part time jobs in grade school, I believe, on through all his education and Veterinary jobs into his poetry career. I believe his intention for the book is that it help people to be successful in life and in business. Having followed his speaking career from the beginning, I still was surprised at the depth of thought that has gone into all his business successes. And as almost professional 'mom/grandma' minded person, I'm very proud of him. A copy of that book would benefit anyone old enough to understand it....which seems to me should be about age 14 on up.

mrj
 

Gushatman

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MRJ,

I had the distinct honor to sit across the table with Baxter a few years back. What an honor it was, and his tories he told were top rate.
 

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