Starting Out

Posted June 28th, 2007 — Filed in Bud's Musings

We constantly hear how hard it is for a young person to get started in farming or ranching.

It is no harder for someone to start in farming or ranching now than it was 70 years ago. The difference is that young people want to start with a place that will make them a good living. In the past, people were willing to start small.

I know a guy who worked at a local auction yard for one dollar a day. He saved until he could buy one calf. He kept the calf at the auction yard and paid for its feed by coming and taking care of the other animals each day. After a while, he sold this calf and used this money plus what he had been able to save from his wages to buy two calves. Within a year he was able to rent some pasture since he now had a large herd of three animals. By now he had gotten a raise at the auction yard and was making $1.50 on auction day. He was also getting paid to come and feed the animals every day. With this fast start, in ten years he was able to buy a small place. He continued to sell and buy cattle and work at odd jobs. When I met him, 30 years later, he owned a very productive ranching operation and by anyone’s standards was a very successful rancher.

Today, anyone who is willing to start the same way can be just as successful and in less time since it is much easier today. The difference is that we want it now, and someone else should give it to us.

If you really want to get started in farming or ranching, learn and understand something about what you want to do. Then be willing to work and earn money to start small. There are all kinds of ways to get property. Buy, rent, or improve land in return for its use. Buy what you can pay for. Try not to borrow money for anything that doesn’t make its own payments month by month. Don’t borrow on something that might make the payment at the end of the year. These days, people love to borrow money. Always remember that the person loaning the money will get their money plus interest, and you will get what’s left. If you own it all, and there is a profit, it is all yours. Borrowing money can either be good or very bad. With farming or with animals, it is possible to make as much money with ten acres as with a thousand. It is just how you use it and what you are willing to do.

With work and knowledge you can Smile and Mean it!