Author Topic: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres  (Read 14798 times)

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Offline RogueFarmer

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4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« on: March 21, 2013, 10:25:58 pm »
http://www.stockmangrassfarmer.com/articles/view.php?entryID=42

These people in mexico have a 250 acre farm that gross's 7 figures.

They graze all year long but feed some hay in winter.

Offline zbr5

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 06:59:39 pm »
Thanks for this, a great read.

The average age of farmers is 58 and there is no new generation of farmers to replace them. In the video linked below, Jim Rogers urges all young people to get into farming and agriculture. He says that it's the farmers who will be driving the Lamborghini's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pReAlBCpEmw

Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 08:27:54 pm »
He says that it's the farmers who will be driving the Lamborghini's.



Farming doesn't have any higher barrier to entry than law school, med school, etc..  As a result, even if there is a temporary crunch where food prices go higher because of lack of farmers, it will resolve itself within just 5 or 7 years, and farmer incomes will go back down.  People go to the professions that make money.  That was law a few years ago.  Now it's not, because so many people became lawyers.

Offline jessica

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 11:25:18 pm »
when lawyers becoming Lamborghini owning farmers.............................we.are.fucked.

Offline RogueFarmer

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 09:43:01 am »
Farming doesn't have any higher barrier to entry than law school, med school, etc..  As a result, even if there is a temporary crunch where food prices go higher because of lack of farmers, it will resolve itself within just 5 or 7 years, and farmer incomes will go back down.  People go to the professions that make money.  That was law a few years ago.  Now it's not, because so many people became lawyers.

Successful modern farming businesses are a much larger hurdle than the typical white collar would be able to handle. Fuckers don't even know what work is.

Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 06:58:58 pm »
Successful modern farming businesses are a much larger hurdle than the typical white collar would be able to handle. Fuckers don't even know what work is.

So then they'd hire help. Besides, you'd be surprised how hard some people will work for money (or the hope of money).

I think you underestimate how much physical labor the average person has done in their life.  Not everyone has been completely sedentary all their life. :)

Offline RogueFarmer

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 10:02:28 pm »
And you are from the states? You must not spend very much time around this country.

Well, I don't want to argue, it's senseless. However I could point out that New Zealand's main economy is agricultural and last I heard about it the average dairy farmer there made 100 grand a year income.

Actually, farming is definitely the most profitable thing us humans can do besides mining. Mining and farming are how  the raw materials of wealth are created. Most people in the United States are not part of the wealth generating economy, they are part of the service economy. Lawyers don't contribute to the GDP.

Farming has an extremely steep and unforgiving learning curve. It would be very easy for eager newcomers to blow their load and lose all of it.

It takes about 5 years for most farms to even break even, if they ever do.

I think you underestimate how hard farmers work. Half of them are just plain psychotic about it. That's why there isn't enough new farmers. Farmers work themselves into early graves. Farm laborers work themselves into early graves. It's not something that you can just do in your 40's or 50's unless you got a lot of money to flush down the toilet. It's not something that you can just do in your teens and twenties unless you flush your current social life and the rest of your goddamn life down the toilet.

I mean some farmers go the corn planter rout, but who the hell would want to buy a million dollars worth of equipment to make a little better than minimum wage? Mechanics.

Offline Iguana

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 11:32:13 pm »
I agree with RF. I gave up on finding someone to help me here with the house, the rather small poultry farming and orchard with 8000 square meters land. Most guys are not even able to split a log, they are just front of their computer the whole day playing stupid video games or such and when asked to do some manual labor, they break the tools...
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 11:40:16 pm »
I agree with RF. I gave up on finding someone to help me here with the house, the rather small poultry farming and orchard with 8000 square meters land. Most guys are not even able to split a log, they are just front of their computer the whole day playing stupid video games or such and when asked to do some manual labor, they break the tools...

Well, I grew up doing plenty of manual labor, but I'm from a pretty rural area of the South, in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains.

and I still say that there are plenty of people will do what it takes to make money, even if it involves manual labor...especially people who grew up in rural areas, like me. Not everyone grew up in a city.  THERE'S NO WAY that manual labor farm jobs will ever pay well in the US. Not with all the Mexicans willing to work for less than minimum wage.

Offline RogueFarmer

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2013, 12:26:44 am »
Haha, if only. I guess it depends where you are, but in the North East Mexicans charge better than minimum wage, 10+ an hour and it's not even tax deductible, so farmers are hiring mexicans, not because they are cheap but because they are good at what they do and they are willing to do it. Gringo just can't keep up, even if they "feel" like it.

However I am not talking about farm "jobs". I am talking about the exciting world of  entrepreneurism.
In the states and western europe we live in a "designer" world. For instance, in the 90's it was the first time ever in the world that land was valued more for it's scenic views than for it's productive capacity. This puts a hard bind on farmers because their land is worth more to developers than it is worth as farm land. However, it can be a huge boon to a creative thinker.

On the greyhound bus I was making this guy from Nigeria's eye's bust out of his head. "There are millions of acres of fertile land in America that people don't know what to do with. People will literally let you farm it for free so that someone is taking care of the land. In some places people will even PAY you to farm."

Which is exactly what I am supposed to be walking into in about a week.

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2013, 12:30:38 am »
I think all it takes for us to get off our desks is:

- business plans
- spreadsheets that shows how this is profitable
- a couple of case studies

Educate us office dudes and being raw paleo dieters, we should be smart enough to figure this out and do it.

I am friends with a very good pioneering organic vegetable farmer in the Philippines. 

I have yet to make friends with a livestock farmer.

So interested.  So please put up the necessary info in this thread.

I grew up in an entrepreneur environment with several businesses run by my parents and I run my own company.  It would be nice to learn about farming for profit.
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Offline ys

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2013, 01:43:24 am »
Quote
Which is exactly what I am supposed to be walking into in about a week.

Tell us more!

Offline jessica

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2013, 04:44:35 am »
pretty much if you aren't a Mexican migrant farmer, farms will not hire you for labor.  I have worked with a ton of legal and illegal migrant farmers, in towns where there is a huge population boom and infrastructure set up to accomodate them during certain picking seasons.  Where I have lived they are paid well, they are excellent workers, have a better cultural understanding of how to efficiently get a job done due to the fact that they are capable of working as a team and don't stop until a job is actually done.  they don't have the sense of entitlement and individuation that drives americans to think they should be receiving some sort of payment just for showing up.

I know in Arizona there was a group of quakers who were owning and protecting land by having a certain amount of cattle on their property, I don't remember exactly what the loophole was, but that land can never be developed.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 05:17:28 am by TylerDurden »

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2013, 05:34:09 am »
pretty much if you aren't a Mexican migrant farmer, farms will not hire you for labor.  I have worked with a ton of legal and illegal migrant farmers, in towns where there is a huge population boom and infrastructure set up to accomodate them during certain picking seasons.  Where I have lived they are paid well, they are excellent workers, have a better cultural understanding of how to efficiently get a job done due to the fact that they are capable of working as a team and don't stop until a job is actually done.  they don't have the sense of entitlement and individuation that drives americans to think they should be receiving some sort of payment just for showing up.
Not the experience of mine and many others, really. It is true that labourers  from the 3rd world are usually  cheaper BUT the inevitable outcome is that the work done by such is of far lower quality, often failing former, reasonable standards. Unsurprising when one realises that such labourers are often paid next to nothing, and so have bugger-all incentive, it also doesn't help that such labourers are totally unskilled. I can cite endless examples such as the Indian call-centre workers  employed by British companies whose English is mostly pretty poor,  the foreign doctors in the UK  from third world countries who get their degrees from 10th-rate universities in Nigeria, India etc. and who, unsurprisingly, are more prone to committing fatal errors during surgery, according to the statistics etc. etc.

And it's an appallingly false  myth that  most people in the West have no work-ethic. Many people do in the US, for example. The trouble is only that such people wish to live like human beings on a low salary that allows them a reasonable standard of living(as with the philosophy of "fordism"). They are not, for example,  prepared to be forced to work while wearing nappies in an attempt by their employers  to stop them having toilet-breaks, as is common in less developed countries like Poland or China.
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Offline aLptHW4k4y

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2013, 06:16:30 am »
I agree with RF. I gave up on finding someone to help me here with the house, the rather small poultry farming and orchard with 8000 square meters land. Most guys are not even able to split a log, they are just front of their computer the whole day playing stupid video games or such and when asked to do some manual labor, they break the tools...
So true, and I'd say it's like this in many places. My dad is working some 200 hectares (grains though, not livestock), and while it's a 3rd world poor country with sky high unemployment, there are still no people willing or actually capable to help with it. In the end with my brother they have to do more or less all the work alone. It's such a paradox.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 06:26:49 am by TylerDurden »

Offline RogueFarmer

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2013, 01:33:03 am »
I can't say I endorse it, but mexican farm laborers and certain American farmers work themselves literally to death. In California especially mexican migrant farm laborers are the rule. Also at slaughterhouses which pay horribly now a days. Most people in my country, do not know what it's like to work out side all day in the hot sun.

as far as

- business plans
- spreadsheets that shows how this is profitable
- a couple of case studies

goes, it is an economic endeavor, something in which I am not adequately versed. I only have knowledge of agronomy and something of American farm economics as well as alternative production models and organic management that with the right marketing can produce a premium. In America unless you have a large acreage and have everything moving right along (a very large investment in the operation), the only way to survive is by cutting out the middle man and producing a premium product sold to the general public at a competitive price. You must have a market and if your market is a wholesale buyer then you need to have nearly epic volumes. An even better strategy is to further vertically integrate and market your products through a vending service, such as a food cart or possibly restaurant. How's getting payed 30+ dollars for a pound of goat instead of 3-or-4 on the conventional market?

I think though that it is possible to farm livestock small scale with a large volume of scale in countries where rice farming is profitable because usually the ground is lain bare for the winter, but a forage for cattle could be grown then and an orchard could be planted to forages in the summer and cattle could graze the larger orchard area of a farm and stay out of the hot summer heat. Coconuts, macadamia and banana can all be grown in bunches and I believe do fine under grass, at least for sure the coconuts and there are several other fruit species and vines that can be grown on that. For species intolerant of grass, these are brushy sections that get grazed far less times a year than grasslands, perhaps skipping some years.

I think the real key is empowering local people with a stable food source if the farm economy is poor. Meat is expensive and highly valued, I would think it would be harder to get help and support from the local people growing grains, but if you could employ people and be a source of protein for a community I think there would be more community support. I know that the water buffalo is becoming rare and it at least used to be that Australia was importing a lot of them alive as breeding stock. It is possible one could help farmers have more access to them for working. If farmers could work together and form a union then they could have a share owned herd that would allow them more efficient use of their land, more productive crops, healthier livestock, better incomes, less pollution, higher quality of life, the list is really honestly endless.

I think it's kind of ironic that Amish people don't use electricity but will eat white sugar and white flour. I think electric fences are real progress, I think they are the tool to ignite the next leap in human evolution.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 02:39:28 pm by TylerDurden »

Offline ys

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2013, 03:19:21 am »
So, for a small farmer, what is the biggest expense?

Offline RogueFarmer

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2013, 05:04:48 am »
Depends what you grow and what kind of farm you have. If you have a pig or chicken farm your biggest expense is feed. If you have a sheep and goat farm, or a deer and elk farm, your biggest expense is fencing. If you have a cattle farm, your biggest expense is cattle and all of these expenses may be overshadowed by the cost of land. However there are places in  this country where land can be rented as cheaply as 50 dollars an acre a year and less. Generally with the increased cost of land comes an increase in affluent customers. The more rural you are the more volume of scale and cheaper products you must produce unless perhaps you can ship.

This sheep farm's biggest expense is labor, but labor is cheap in Mexico. Dairy farming takes a lot of labor too. Grass farming and orchards are a lot less labor than most other kinds of farming.

goodsamaritan if you want potential profit projections for your area, you would have to give me estimates on the cost of land there per acre or cost of renting, the value of food and the prices brought at different markets, potential export venues and crops and forages that are known to grow there and are popular and what they yield per ha. If possible it would be needed to figure out what forage production can be for certain crops in winter in field and for summer with some shade as well.

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2013, 09:19:59 am »
My initial thoughts about this livestock and vegetable farming concept is that it should feed my family and extended family and descendants so most of our food bills are taken cared of by our own clean "organic" produce.

My grandfather tried his hand at this in the 1960s and 1970s with 24 hectares of rolling hills near Butuan.  He was unsuccessful though trying out pigs and banana farming.  My uncle who was his farm hand said that the buyers were stingy at paying for the bananas.  The land is idle now.  My aunt who now owns the lots has no capital.  The neighbouring land  has mango trees (fruit farming).

Maybe I can make better plans than he did now that we have electronic spreadsheets.

I'm entreprenueral and I have to at least see it work / profit on a spreadsheet first.

My wife used to go around looking for fruit farming land.  She wound up buying a residential lot.

Thanks for bringing this up, may as well ask around here in my country.  We have our own different challenges.
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Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2013, 10:18:12 am »
Not the experience of mine and many others, really. It is true that labourers  from the 3rd world are usually  cheaper BUT the inevitable outcome is that the work done by such is of far lower quality, often failing former, reasonable standards. Unsurprising when one realises that such labourers are often paid next to nothing, and so have bugger-all incentive, it also doesn't help that such labourers are totally unskilled. I can cite endless examples such as the Indian call-centre workers  employed by British companies whose English is mostly pretty poor,  the foreign doctors in the UK  from third world countries who get their degrees from 10th-rate universities in Nigeria, India etc. and who, unsurprisingly, are more prone to committing fatal errors during surgery, according to the statistics etc. etc.

And it's an appallingly false  myth that  most people in the West have no work-ethic. Many people do in the US, for example. The trouble is only that such people wish to live like human beings on a low salary that allows them a reasonable standard of living(as with the philosophy of "fordism"). They are not, for example,  prepared to be forced to work while wearing nappies in an attempt by their employers  to stop them having toilet-breaks, as is common in less developed countries like Poland or China.

Dude, you're dead wrong about Mexicans.  The Mexicans that come to work in the US are the hardest-working people you've ever seen, bar none.

As far as Indian call centers, i agree that the quality of the customer service is usually terrible, but that's often due to the language barrier, not because they don't care.

I can't speak to the quality of doctors from other countries, I've not seen any statistics.

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2013, 02:46:27 pm »

I can't speak to the quality of doctors from other countries, I've not seen any statistics.
  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9771022/Revealed-3-in-4-of-Britains-danger-doctors-are-trained-abroad.html

The other point I was making was that  3rd-world workers are so unskilled in every category, not just language, that, inevitably, their work is usually  shoddy.

"During the last campaign I knew what was happening. You know, they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more.
" Ron Paul.

Offline RogueFarmer

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2013, 08:31:39 pm »
  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9771022/Revealed-3-in-4-of-Britains-danger-doctors-are-trained-abroad.html

The other point I was making was that  3rd-world workers are so unskilled in every category, not just language, that, inevitably, their work is usually  shoddy.



Well most of them were farmers so I bet you would be surprised at how good they are in the fields lol.

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2013, 09:07:15 pm »
Well most of them were farmers so I bet you would be surprised at how good they are in the fields lol.
Hhmm... I always remember the past boyfriend of my odious shrewish, gold-digging whore of a cousin who mentioned how he once tried to work at French vineyards in the summer but was always told that they only accepted Polish workers(because  the Polish were considered to be the only ones stupid enough to work for less than half the minimum French wage). I seriously doubt that your Mexican workers, or those Polish workers I mentioned, ever delivered more than a tiny fraction of the effort/quality provided by workers  who were paid a decent wage.
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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2013, 10:20:26 pm »
Hhmm... I always remember the past boyfriend of my odious shrewish, gold-digging whore of a cousin who mentioned how he once tried to work at French vineyards in the summer but was always told that they only accepted Polish workers(because  the Polish were considered to be the only ones stupid enough to work for less than half the minimum French wage). I seriously doubt that your Mexican workers, or those Polish workers I mentioned, ever delivered more than a tiny fraction of the effort/quality provided by workers  who were paid a decent wage.

Tyler, for the most part the Mexicans are paid a decent wage, they should be paid more, but we all should really.   Most of them are LEGAL and come over on green work cards, send all their money back to Mexico, and return there themselves at the end of the season, so the get the benefit that US currency still exchanges well there.  Its pretty regulated because Americans are either too sick physically or mentally to be able to do the jobs.  Like I said, farms, orchards and towns have infrastructure to deal with the influx in population, some of these have been growing for the past 50 years.  Mexicans are willing, efficient, and thorough, I have worked with plenty of them in the past and hope to do so this fall during the apple harvest in the North West US.  That is, if anyone will hire a young English speaking female worker, not as likely as you'd think.

Offline RogueFarmer

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Re: 4200 ewes, 800 rams and their lambs on just 200 acres
« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2013, 12:15:23 am »
Remember that a lot of people will tell you that this sort of farming or that won't work. Everyone thinks it won't work. You have to have a better strategy. It is like being a military commander. You must have the main offensive and two counter attacks. You must get the most out of your land by having multiple synergistic harvests. You must reduce costs and increase profits and quality prices. Then you need secret weapons. They want you to buy their sprays or feeds or fencing. You focus on what you need, bottom line, then look to see what can optimize the operation. Mineral licks, salt are mandatory and kelp is a good idea for livestock.

 

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