We were dairy farmers for 30 years in Ohio. When my parents passed away this year, we moved to Texas and got regular jobs but we both miss farming alot. Does anyone know where places might exist for us to get back into farming again? It could be beef or dairy. My husband is an AI breeder and though he has tried working a regular job, he misses working with cattle. It could be anywhere in the country. Any suggestions?
Looking for a Farm
There are not to many dairies left in Tx anymore. There are however lots of beef ranches around my area. Angus,Char. ect. I'm not sure where Riesel is,but you may check around here ( just south of Ft.Worth). Good luck I hope you find what your looking for!
Do you actually want to own a farm? There are beef cattle ranches in Nebraska who would love to hire your husband for his AI experience. Many times, they provide housing, etc.
I have to be bluntly honest, getting into dairying now is not a good idea. The milk prices are back in the 1970s and the outlook is not really all that great. We know people who are borrowing money to feed their herds. NJ's suggestion makes a world of sense at this time.
I know all about dairy prices . We started in the 70's and still were getting about the same price for milk when we quit. I guess we loved it for the challenge and the working with the animals; however, I think we could work with beef also. Those farms in Nebraska; how are the prices there for land? When we started our farm in Ohio, we started from scratch and built it up to one of the top Holstein herds in our county. My husband was great at picking bulls and developing good lines. I think we could start a farm from scratch again even at this time in our lives because we don't mind hard work.
Here is a website that exemplifies what I'm stating about jobs.
Type in "ranch manager" for search.
There is a job in southcentral Nebraska. I googled the phone prefix and it is in Hall County. The job provides "meat, housing, utilities & a vehicle"
As far as your question about farm prices in Nebraska. In my opinion, they are too high considering how little money you make from any kind of farming and what farmers have to pay for overhead, etc. especially property taxes. The property taxes in Nebraska are outrageous. That being said, farms/ranch prices vary greatly because types of land vary. In central to western Nebraska ranch country, it may take up to 7 acres of grass per cow/calf pair, whereas in eastern Nebraska, it may only take 2 - 2.5. However, most of eastern Nebraska is cropland. Our dd recently received a acceptance of an offer for prairie native grassland for $2000 an acre. In my opinion, that was too much. However, because of its location close to urban areas, it is worth more than agricultural value. If dd doesn't get FSA funding though, she will not buy. However, we already have all the cows, barns, equipment, etc. All we pretty much need is the grassland and fencing. We can't find adequate pasture ground to rent. Sorry to sound like a pessimist. But that's the way it is here in the "Cornhusker" state.
You might look at southern Missouri or northern Arkansas There is still some 1000 a acres land around but getting less and less all the time I gave 900 an acre 12 years ago for my 40 it's rough and there was nothing here but land would run about 10 cow calf pairs in the average years
Why not move back to Ohio? Specialize in grass fed, no antibiotics or growth hormone beef, which is becoming very popular, and scale your herd to fit your ability to do the work. As you probably, know there are AI services here in Ohio that would be a potentialoff the farm work, or there are some very large dairies that might need an AI tech. Just an idea.
You could always make artisan cheeses. I hear that is going really well!
Wanted to give a word of warning for northern Arkansas. We paid $850 an acre 20 years ago and it is now going for $2000 + an acre. Most cheaper land is too rocky or hilly for range land.
Wish you luck.
Could be worse, we paid $3000-$5000 an acre for our property which was fully rural but not far from town; and suburbia is encroaching. The land across the road is being offered for $31,000 an acre. It won't sell for that but that leap in price is the trend around here.
We were really lucky. Our 30 acres is on a mountain top but nearly all flat. We found it the day it went on sale.
It is forested with old oaks and hickory and not a lot of undergrowth. We cleared enough for a house and garden and will leave the rest as is.
cando1- that sounds amazing!
I know farmland in OH, IL, IN is selling for 5,000 to 6,000 an acre!
And now - Who knows the definition for an acre?
The term is very old. Said to be the amount of land that one man with one Ox could clear in one day.
Where did I leave that Ox? I swear I had it yesterday.
Am glad they used the term one ox as compared to one mule. The mule would plow 1/2acre and go on strike and our acres would be much less. LOL
I really think getting into natural grassfed beef and or fine cheeses sounds lucrative.
Nothing cheap here in MN. Latest sale was $5300 per acre. Bare land, no buildings. Builds usually knock the price down. All going on here are large crop farms, 3 to 5 thousand acres. Most only own a few parcels, rent the rest. Most land sold is after the owner dies.
MN used to be heavy in dairy. Now I can only think of one dairy farm in this county. It isn't very big, only 150 cows. Most in this part of the country are 300 or more.
My step son works on one with 300 cows. Not recommended to work on a dairy farm. They expect to many hours & few off days. He likes where he is, but puts in lots of hours.
Land in MI is pretty darn cheap. You have to brave the winters though. I dont' mind though. I intend to farm there when I return.
Whew! Bernie just took me down memory lane. I grew up on one of those small MN dairy farms. If I remember it was 120 acres. It was pretty self sufficient and came with its' own employment staff what with 9 kids. LOL It is now owned by one of those mega farmers. I remember how shocked we were when southern MN land prices hit $1,000. Looking at the land prices now, I suspect a large part of it is that our money is becoming worth less on a daily basis. That translates to needing more of it to purchase. I have followed the land prices around the country in the Progressive Farmer for a while and have been amazed at them.
Best wishes in your search Craftycritters.
Thanks for the memories Bernie.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
News at the coffee shop yesterday morning was 2 pieces of land at auction went for $6000 & $7300 per tillable acre.
Corn yields went through the roof here this summer. Very little under 200 bushels per acre. Lots of fields ran 230 to 240. With the half way decent price, $ per acre is pretty good, so farmers have lots of money to spend.
Now the big farmers figure way different than back when it was mostly small farms.
A neighbor was explaining how to justify paying $300,000.0 for a new combine. He charges the cost to each acre of land. His thousands of acres & the resale value of the combine make it about $10.00 per acre, per year. Like he said, you can't even get it custom combined for that amount.
This is why farming is big business now.
Those of us with our little acreage will just have to continue dealing with the general public, offering our veggies, free range eggs & animals, & other niche items.
There is a place for all of us.
Did you ever find something? Yesterday we heard about a quarter that is up for sale. 1/2 of it is pasture and 1/2 is row crop and there is a small house and some outbuildings. From what we understand, it is just hitting the market. They are asking $3000 and acre ($720,000) I would assume they would go down. This is about 15 miles southeast of Lincoln right off Highway 2. Considering how close it is to Lincoln, that is fairly reasonable price. They buyers would have no problem finding people to sublease what they don't need.
How about locating a dairy farmer that is nearing retirement age and doesn't have children to take over the farming? You could start in as a herdsman and see if it is a good fit.
JUST FOR REFERENCE; My best friend lives on a 900 acre beef cattle ranch. 5 yrs. ago it was appraised for 12 million.
Now it is up for sale for 4 million since her husb. passed and kids don't have time to tend to anything. There are about 400 cows/calves on it now. Has 5 large metal sheds, 4 bedrm. home with detached 2 car garage and 1 car garage attached.
Needs some new fencing. Has 3 water pumps scattered near watering holes. Good thing cause we are pretty dry here right now.
It will probably be on the market for years as Fl. economy is as depressed as everywhere else. We do get ag exemption for farm land which is a huge help with property taxes. If its sold they will have a huge lump sum to pay gov. for capaitol gains tax.
It is 1 1/4 mi. in off a black topped road but driveway is in pretty good condition. Actually is it a beautiful place.
BTW Fl. ranks second in cattle production only to Texas. We buy the large round bales of good hay for $45.
I read where Texas is having drought problems also for which I feel sorry.
Hi, just happened on this thread. How about just picking a few or whatever areas that you think you might be interested in, think about the type of crop/herd/whatever and write to some realtors, do some research on google, etc. There are tons of possibilities, some suggested here, and I would look more in areas where there are not the dangers of things like the hurricanes, droughts, floods, earthquakes etc. Anything that could be a real problem to your pick of crop or whatever.
Just a thought. There have been some pretty good suggestions on here. Give them some thought. Good luck with your endeavor. Think it is great. Jeanette