What's Your Story?
Today, I want to hear all about your operation. When was it established? Who lived there? Where did your ancestors come from? Who lives on the homestead now? What kind of cattle do you raise? How have things changed over the years? For inspiration, check out the podcast from Secretary Even to hear his ranch story and learn more about the South Dakota Century Farm Awards. Leave your stories in the comment section below. I'm really looking forward to hearing your past histories.
My family's cattle operation was established when my grandparents, Alvin and Devona, bought the land and surrounding buildings. The farm used to be a dairy, but it was quickly converted to a cattle and hog operation. My dad, and his two siblings, were raised on this farm, doing chores and helping to raise the livestock. Back then, my family raised Herefords and Angus, but in 1983, my dad purchased his first Limousin bull, and he has been raising Limousin ever since. Today, my parents and my two younger sisters live on the farm, and I commute from town to help as needed. My extended family is also heavily involved in beef cattle production, and my mom's parents and sisters all raise Charolais cattle within a few miles of each other near Lake Preston, S.D. While I'm trying to play a bigger role in my family's operation, today's challenges might make our multi-generation business difficult to maintain without significant changes. Nevertheless, our family remains optimistic about the future of the beef cattle industry, and that's why I love being able to communicate these ideas through this blog and other social media outlets. It's a job that affords me the opportunity to be close to home, and for that, I feel extremely blessed.
BEEF Daily Quick Fact: U.S. farmers spent $241 billion to produce their crops and livestock in 2007, an increase of $68 billion – or 39% – from 2002. The steepest cost increases were for gasoline and fuel, up 93%, and fertilizer, up 86%. (2007 Ag Census)