view sourceprint? 01 Ramblings from a Ranch Wife: Going Broke

Random Thought:

"The darkest nights produce the brightest stars"
~


Monday, June 17, 2013

Going Broke

The Cowboss and I have been wanting to get into the cow business for awhile now.  It's been really hard because we really have no equity.  Which apparently is very important if you want to get a loan. We finally got a loan with our Credit Union at 13% interest which is pretty high, but the best we could do, so 3 years ago we bought 10 cows through the sale ring.  Kind of a disaster, then we tried to run them with my in laws in Idaho.  While we appreciated the opportunity they gave us, we spent every spare minute running back and forth to help with the cows and we were tired.  We also didn't have many decisions on the business aspect such as when or where we sold them.  So we found some pasture to lease here at home, and moved them back here last fall.  This winter has been awesome watching our own cows calve, getting to select our own bulls, and even little things like deciding when we want to brand our calves.  It was is nice not to have to frantically reschedule classes or appointments when we would get a phone call saying we needed to be in Idaho in 2 days to work cattle.  I wasn't sure how we would make it work once TR was in school either.  You can't just yank your kid out of school for a week all willy nilly as the mood hits you! 

A couple of weeks ago and opportunity fell into our lap to buy some heifer calves, so I've spent the last few weeks on the phone with the banker, trying to get approved for a loan.  We were finally approved on Wednesday, and Thursday we went and gathered the heifers.  Friday we paid for them and Sunday we processed them.  Now they are out with a bull, hopefully making baby calves for us, and we are following the cattle market, hoping that bred heifers go high!  I was checking out Superior Livestock this morning, and I see that bred heifers went for anywhere from $1,550 to $1,925 each this past week.  The higher they go, the fewer we have to sell!

It is really nice owning cattle.  I think building up equity is important.  While we have no plans on leaving here any time soon, it will be nice to be able to use our cattle as equity on a loan down the line when we are ready for a place of our own!  It's just hard to deal with the anxiety of the dollar amount of the loan and how to make everything work!


12 comments:

  1. Congratulations! As you know the cow business can be so rewarding both spiritually and financially. Its a wonderful life choice. Best of luck to you guys. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! We are pretty excited about it!

      Delete
  2. Awesome! We have slowly been building out little herd.. we have raised two doggies, and they should be bred by now. This year we got another doggie that is a heifer, and our milk cow had a heifer! And J just bought an ugly little heifer from the sale, that just calved! It is nice having your own! Although we are far from being able to make a living, and we have to keep them in Tx on my grandmother's place. But its defiantly a start!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We started out with my 1 cow at my parent's, and the Cow Boss had 3 at his folk's place...We've come a little ways since then! All we want is a little equity to give us some collateral down the road. =) It sure feels good to ride through our own cows though!

      Delete
  3. This is interesting, as my husband and I are just talking about increasing our (small!) herd, and wondering if/how much a banker would loan. I guess since we have a few head now, maybe that will help? Good luck - I hope your cows do good this year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, we are hoping so too! Having some cows sure helps when it comes down to getting a loan. We tried FSA when we got our first loan, but they wouldn't work with us because we couldn't run the cattle where we are at, and we didn't really have any collateral.

      Delete
  4. Good for you guys. I don't know i any body needs info, but the Farm Service Agency if great to work with. Especially for smaller ranchers just starting out. We just bought another 100 head and our interest is only at 5.25%.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow! That is really good, I think our interest rate was 8%, not as good at 5.25%, but better than the 13% we had on our first loan!

      Delete