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Ranching! Is it a living or a dying?

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Mountain Cowgirl

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I pose the question, is ranching for you a living or a dying? What did you do for medical insurance?

I can think of a couple of years I lived solely off the small profit I made from ranching. It was based on trading. I would help my alfalfa grower in trade for enough hay to feed dairy goats through winter. They were profitable because I could buy half-breed day-old calves from dairy farms each spring for a very low price. Once weaned I moved them to an allotment I had in trade for my labor for keeping count and watch over a rancher's herd. The great cow horse I used was in trade for spring, summer and fall pasture for it. The owner was still responsible for vet bills. Adding another 20 or so head to the allotment didn't cost the rancher anything since he ran a lot fewer cattle than most on his allotment. He found he profited more by under grazing than overgrazing and it kept him out of the politics and in better graces with the FS "experts" that leaned more toward tofu than beef.

Besides, when these loafer light experts considered that the addition of 20 orphaned half breed calves, rescued by a kindly young woman that bottle-fed them twice daily and released them to frolic in the mountain meadows as nature intended, they were reduced to tears and labeled me as a compassionate hippie whereas some ranchers labeled me a crazy goat roper although I never roped a goat in my life. The hermit that saw me riding double bareback wearing only homemade leather pants and knee-high mocassins, with the horse unencumbered by heavy cinched leather, was brided with a pot of homemade chili to unsee what he thought he saw. From then on he referred to me as the Indian Lady.

After a brief scrape with an illness that ran up some hospital bills, I decided to return to work in good weather for pay and medical insurance. I discovered that medical insurance is necessary for "making a living" and my self-sustainable lifestyle was paving the road to "making a dying."

I have thought now that I am on SS, Medicare, and a union pension, it might be nice to return to ranching because that small profit every year would be a bonus. Then reality takes over and I realize I struggle to keep up this place on the edge of town and don't have the patience for all the political bull pucky that is falling on ranching. Since riding a horse, even an old slow one, would be considered reckless self-endangerment and the rattlesnake sighting this last summer reminded me that ranching can be hard on an old lady's bladder, I have removed ranching from my bucket list.

I should have listened to one of my hardworking lifetime ranching grandmas when she said, "It isn't that girls can't do hard heavy work, it is that they shouldn't." In my youth, I thought that marriage was about having babies, but now I realize it is about getting free labor for the hard and heavy work. :giggle: Time for a :coffee:break as this key pounding is hard on my old several times over frost-bitten and swollen knuckle fingers.
 
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deff

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Health insurance is a big consideration. Other than the most extreme drought years, I was able to either make enough profit or pick up some extra work to get by. Once the kids were older, my wife was able to work in town and that made a huge difference in our "feast or famine" lifestyle! I had heart surgery 20 years ago and suddenly my "group" got unhealthy and we could no longer afford ANY health insurance! We went several years without and got by, but I sure wouldn't try that again! I should have sold the cows and got a "real job" but I just kept on ranching! Now I have Medicare but my wife has to work in town for a couple more years until she can get it too.
 

Evans

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I used to rent land from an old guy in his late eighties. He sold farm and ranch real estate for a living. Team roped for fun. He was always involved with cows all his life. He always had some cows and equipment all his life. His herd size kind of depended on how much land he owned because he would buy and sell land close to him.
When I rented from him he could hardly walk but his house was in a good location where he could kind of keep an eye on my cows. He still owned a couple of dozen Herefords of his own but he farmed therm out on shares to another outfit.
He was in bad health and could barely look after himself but he enjoyed keeping an eye on my cows during the early summer. He enjoyed still owning his own herd although he only saw them at branding or at the sale barn in the fall. He enjoyed buying the of bull every few years.
This guy didn't come from an ag background. But he was a cow man through and through. When he was on his death bed at the hospital and he would be slipping in and out of consciousness if I would pull out Balog( auctionmart) slips he would snap right back to life again. He loved the cattle industry. Real estate was how he got started and stayed in the cow game but he more heart and desire for the industry and loved and knew it more than a lot of people. I really miss him.
But the point I'm trying to make is that he always stayed in the game despite everything going against him. His health was bad for years. Really amazing that he could live there alone.
Haha He had this old good for nothing TB horse that his daughter dumped there that has always in the way. An old cat and him. He always claimed it was a three way competition between him,the cat and the horse as to who was going to live the longest. The damn horse won.
I really miss Arnold. He always saw the best in everyone and everything.
 

leanin' H

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The best way to make a small fortune ranching is to start with a big one. 😁

Ranching will never die because too many of us are too hard headed to quit while we are ahead. For me it’s the lifestyle. You could offer me all the money in the world to live in a city and I’d say no. I wanna have some cattle around, day work for you my friends and neighbors for free and continue in the legacy started by my hard headed ancestors. If it was easy, everyone would do it. But it’s sure worth it. To me
 

webfoot

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I knew one old guy who at one time had about 400 cows and several thousand acres of wheat. When I knew him he was in his early 90's. He was down to about 20 cows and enough land to run them. He put up his own hay in little square bales. Only stacked them 2 high on his trailer. Didn't get it done fast but he got it done. At 93 his nephews convinced him to sell the place and the cows. He moved to town, sat in a recliner, and died 6 months later. That moving and working was what kept him alive.
 

webfoot

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One of my neighbors is a 92 year old woman. The family runs about 500 cows. This time of year she is helping feed every day. When the cows head for the hills she harrows all the hay fields the cows spent the winter on. They raise all their own hay. She rakes every single strand of it. Oh and she has about 150 ewes which she lambs out. A person needs to keep moving if you plan to live to old age.
 

Rancherpoppy

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Yeah getting old happens. It is God's plan for the proud, to die. But, pride is die hard.

So they say rightly, it is hard to be humble.

Everybody has to deal with ole die hard pride. Now, I show you the most excellent Way.

Love. Yeah, but I mean Love pure, from a pure heart motive. Love God 1st and best. Then, love others as your Testimony that you Love God.

Love what you do. Pray for those you love while you are loving what you do.

Work is good and it is a good occupation of your time. From it you get a sense of service, and feed your own face.

If you Love, you will be blessed, in the field, at home, and you will have enough to help others when you can.

You get very few opportunities to really help another human. So, you want to be ready. It feels pretty good when you do. So, Love those you see. The stubborn ones need it most.

Be Humble. Wait. Be blessed. Love God. Love others. You will be accepted by Him, if you do.

Meanwhile, judge yourself. Get rid of all your pride so others don't have to suffer it, and it keeps you locked out of heaven. Just do good.

Like I am saying, if you do good always, God honors that occupation of time, in due time. If you don't do good well then, you will fall into all kinds of sin. That is a bitter end.

Pray for Love and patience and others that need it. You don't have to pray for self, if you Trust God, but if you are instant in Love, and prayer, forgive others and God Our Father shall forgive you.

You like knuckle breaking servile work. Ok. Get all you can now. In heaven you shall play before the Lord forever. Free as a child. You never get tired. A Day of Rest goes on forever, time is no more - it does not limit you or age you, youth can never be wasted. You have a different body and none of the bodily excretions.

Well I hope to see you there. I pray you come to the blessing place: a pure heart of pure love. I love you all.

Time is a matrix. Flesh is a womb. God resists the proud, but MOST SURELY, gives grace to the humble.

Do not miss the opening, of your birthRIGHT. Love pure is the Testimony your Life should be offering for others.

Yep. Let that Light from above Shine here so men can see you intend to Glorify God as your Father. Forever.

Yee Haw. Get along.
 

Evans

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Its not about pride.
I can't just sit and do nothing. A little TV is good but I can't just watch it all day. I pray,study the word and go to Church but I can't do that 24 hours a day.
I need something to work at. Help others at. Have something to talk about.
I'm in quite a bit of pain. Its harder to do things every year. Hard to sleep at night because of pain.
Brandings or trailing cows was the main way that I would get to socialise with other people. That or auctions or something cow related.
I need a reason to get out of bed. My worst fear is to move to town. I already have a do not resuscitate with my lawyer but I'm going to upgrade that to doctor assisted suicide if they ever try to say that I'm not capable of looking after myself. Example Alzheimer's. I'm not ever moving to town or getting rid of my stock. I'm not leaving my place alive if I can help it.
I dont know how to explain it😀
 

deff

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I'm hoping to stick it out 3 more years. I'll have ranched for 50 years by then. My monthly SS benefits will max out, my wife and I will both be on Medicare by then and possibly, I may have recouped a little of my life savings that this drought has gobbled up! The deep snow, gumbo mud and hot, dry summers and an occasional mean cow have left a toll on my body and spirit! I'm looking forward to everything not being my problem and having some freedom to travel and to do a bit of guilt-free loafing around on occasion! I have often wondered what those things called "weekends" and "vacations" that my town friends talk about are! I have a son, daughter in law that are buying half of the ranch that I had been leasing, from my brother. They both have "real" jobs in town but have always put almost all of their spare time in working the ranch and possess the energy to get a lot done in a short period of time. I'm viewing this as a period of transition where they can grow into the cattle business and take over more and more of the decisions and responsibilities while we work out the rest of the details. I'm sure that there will always be plenty of work to go around on this place if ever I am bored! I may even reserve a niche for a little hobby herd on the place as I have no desire to ever move to town.
 

leanin' H

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If you don’t love ranching then it’s definitely not a vocation to get into. Somebody told me a long time ago a person will be happy if they have a job they are good at, they love and they can make money doing it. Two of the three won’t cut it. Some years money is sure tight but I like to think I’ve gotten a heck of a lot better quality of life by being in ranching than not
 

Rancherpoppy

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Bless your dear heart.

I pray you are gathered in peace and be in good health. I was speaking generally. Now I will speak directly.

Bear your cross daily. Do not give up.

It is not right to commit suicide. If you believe in Christ endure everything to the end. Yeah we desire to be with Him where He is.

Have you any family to help? If not, have you a church fellowship? Or Friends. I pray the Lord give you wisdom and safety and people who care for your welfare and your soul.

I am in Victoria Tx. If you are near, I will be your near friend. We have meals on wheels here, and other services.

Here is my email: [email protected]

There are few Christians left. Me thinks only about 20% of the population.

Be Blessed. Be Strong. Never fear, only believe. Have Faith.


Poppy Rancher
 

DosArroyos

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I figure the only time you ever make any real money ranching is the day you sell out.Sure you make enough to go from year to year,but sometimes you don't.The only reason I'm doing it is my Mother did and when she couldn't do it anymore I started doing it for her.I thought I would buy her out and she could go on ranching thru me for a few years and look over my shoulder and I thought I might go on until I reached social security age before she passed away.Well that's not what happened.I bought her out in January of 17 and she passed away unexpectantly in October of 20.I don't ranch for a living and I recon I get a little therapy from my cows as it calms me and lets me forget about my everyday job for just a few hours each day.Winter time is always tough to get thru monetarily and way harder on the body than the other 3 seasons of the year.I've been thinking with the way machinery and cows are in pretty good demand that I might just get out while the getting is good.It will be hard to see others run their animals on my property,but dang if it won't be just nearly as much money a year on lease income than what I'd net on the cows.What say you?
 

leanin' H

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It all comes down to what your pencil tells you. If the return on the lease is enough and you feel the price you will get for the cattle and equipment is agreeable for ya, it’s a decision you may be inclined to make. We all have those choices in life. I wish you well in your adventure
 

Rancherpoppy

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I think the same. Hold onto the land. They are not making any more. It is a good hedge against inflation.

If population increases, demand for land increases. The trend has been smaller and smaller tracts worth more and more.

We are working on no property taxes in Texas. Just begun. It is on the ballot as a question only in our county. Land is the most true and undervalued commodity in the world.

If we are free. If the national socialist/fascists party succeeds in one party dominance. Sell. Because, they will come for your land to divide among those who vote for them. They openly buy and import votes now, daily. After they control the land division, we will pay dearly for food.

Pray we remain free.
 

Evans

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Bless your dear heart.

I pray you are gathered in peace and be in good health. I was speaking generally. Now I will speak directly.

Bear your cross daily. Do not give up.

It is not right to commit suicide. If you believe in Christ endure everything to the end. Yeah we desire to be with Him where He is.

Have you any family to help? If not, have you a church fellowship? Or Friends. I pray the Lord give you wisdom and safety and people who care for your welfare and your soul.

I am in Victoria Tx. If you are near, I will be your near friend. We have meals on wheels here, and other services.

Here is my email: [email protected]

There are few Christians left. Me thinks only about 20% of the population.

Be Blessed. Be Strong. Never fear, only believe. Have Faith.


Poppy Rancher
I've watched people die slow horrible deaths from cancer. They will only give them so much pain killer because if they give them more it will kill them. Its worse than i hope you can Imagine.
Alzheimer's and dementia can be a nightmare for everyone evolved.
People think sometimes that things can't get any worse. Let me tell you there is no limit on how bad things can be.
We treat animals better than people. No one would put up with animal abuse and suffering.
Just wondering. Where does it say you can't kill yourself in the Bible? I'm talking about if you have an illness that is going to slowly kill you in a horrible way.
 

Evans

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I figure the only time you ever make any real money ranching is the day you sell out.Sure you make enough to go from year to year,but sometimes you don't.The only reason I'm doing it is my Mother did and when she couldn't do it anymore I started doing it for her.I thought I would buy her out and she could go on ranching thru me for a few years and look over my shoulder and I thought I might go on until I reached social security age before she passed away.Well that's not what happened.I bought her out in January of 17 and she passed away unexpectantly in October of 20.I don't ranch for a living and I recon I get a little therapy from my cows as it calms me and lets me forget about my everyday job for just a few hours each day.Winter time is always tough to get thru monetarily and way harder on the body than the other 3 seasons of the year.I've been thinking with the way machinery and cows are in pretty good demand that I might just get out while the getting is good.It will be hard to see others run their animals on my property,but dang if it won't be just nearly as much money a year on lease income than what I'd net on the cows.What say you?
Its hard to get back into it. Takes years to build up a good herd. Hard to get into it in the first place.
Ive got everything I want except a good woman. Wont sell anything because I figure I can't replace it. Example old trucks,tools,guns,etc. I could buy new stuff but I wouldn't be as happy with it as my old stuff.
 

Rancherpoppy

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Dear Soul "Still in Time".

Yeah. i have seen. Like you have. But, I know the Lord is able to deliver the Righteous.

The Lord is pitiful of compassion having suffered in the flesh, and shared all our like passions. He is Love. And, very merciful.

Here, it maybe hard to understand, it is still love to draw men down to death to save them. It is a long-suffering work for Him. He feels everything.

The Lord will not test you beyond measure. Consider His Work.

Moses said The Lord brought you out of bondage, (of self trying to be god) in the wilderness of your lifetime to humble you (pride is the problem in us all, it's operation is totally opposite of pure love).

Moses went on ...to humble you and me, all of us, and to Test you/me/us to see what is really on our heart/motive of Life, and to prove us, (in Spirit, one way or the other, holy or not). It is very serious.

Love sometimes had to be strong. See God sent Adam/1st man out of the garden because He blamed God (that woman you gave me made me do it), instead of taking personal responsibility and repenting.

Account it Mercy that man does not die at his 1st sin, by the long-suffering Love of God. He won't quench any man's life, if there is any hope that man will turn to Him with his whole heart.

I will write you again, after re-read ing you message. I know you asked about suicide. I will answer you about that next. But, first consider that no man can commit suicide and go to heaven because that Testimony does not agree. We are those who heard Christ say: Those who come to the Cross Lifted and endure everything here and remain holy to the end SHALL BE SAVED.

There will be no more pain in heaven. Ever. And, you get a new body that can't even get tired, nor waste away, never ages. But, God cannot trust that power to an unproven mortal man (it could be worse if men had more power).

It is a good work to keep heaven holy.

I hope you see, and agree in covenant.

We have this promise in earthen vessels, for to make the Testimony.
Hold fast to your faith. You will never be disappointed.

Do not wait up. Get your Rest. At our age, we need 8 hours sleep for our immune system to restore us for another day.

I will write you again and answer all you ask. Do not fear, Trust God. And, loose Christ. The mystery of God is Christ in you. Col 1:27.

Understand God made an open show at the Cross: simply this: The six hours on the Cross are (transliterated)the 6 days of God's work.

All He can do after giving you pro-pose-all of Himself is wait, hung in flesh (with you) for you to come to the Altar of Come Union of your own freewill. With a Pure heart of Pure Love. See the intersection of the cross is at the heart. And inside you it is the only door/portal/opening to heaven. The Pure in heart, shall see God.

Our sufferings here are not worthy to be compared with the glory to Come.

Let Our Father see your heart. Talk to Him. Pour out your heart, for He cares for you.

Praying you are well. Very sincerely concerned for you welfare.

Poppyrancher

P.S. if you prefer, we can email.
 

Rancherpoppy

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About suicide.

1st Remember You shall not kill.

It is impossible to repent murdering self since you have no more time.

Next, there are three main suicides in the Bible. King Saul, Counselor Ahitophel (sp), and Judas Iscariot. All were called and chosen. Saul was anointed by God at the hands of Prophet Samuel. Ahithophel was the chosen advisor to King David. And Jesus called and chose 12, one was Iscariot.

It ios clear they 3 fell away. Then took their own lives.

It is Spiritual suicide to REJECT the Holy Spirit. Every sin a man can commit in flesh shall be forgiven IF he does not reject the Holy Spirit.

There is much more to be said and taught on the matter.

Jesus said if any man take/or try to save his own life he will lose it. But, if any man give his life for Christ's sake/to save others/for the gospel that man will/keep his own life eternal.

I leave off talking for this night about suicide. Let these words sink into you heart. There are more teachings.

What you do affects others. It is better to suffer now, and then after death to never suffer again and live forever in paradise.

God's Will is that no one perish. So, He suffers all this. For us.

Love is patient.

Lay hold of your birthRIGHT. Cleave to God as a Holy Father.

Write back. Ask whatever you will. Do not blame God. Be careful to give Him everything and make your requests known. He cares for you.

Tell me if you have any dis-ease.

More men are saved at the point of death than any other time. Why? Because they have nothing left to hold them back from full surrender.

And, God cannot resist a humble and contrite spirit. He is broken in heart too, for you, waiting.

If you know a better way to save men than making them face their mortality - tell Him. He listens. And, He will do it.

It broken His heart. That is how he died. In our very place.

I tried to think of a better way. He gave it. By instruction, instead of the hard way. If we receive our correction the we are accounted true sons.

The beginning of salvation is being broken. It is so very tender a work to break the stubborn will without breaking the spirit. He is all wrapped up in the present (gift), present (time), present (presence), having pre--Sent his son. You can be. He is truly wrapped in flesh.

God shared His Life with us. Share yours completely with Him.

Life for Life understood is Righteous Judgment. He gave His for you, give yours fir Him.

Ask anything. In a holy spirit. Ask for it. He desires it for you. He lives you like a first love.

Your Friend in Christ
Poppy
 

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