Conversations with Animal Farmers
By Robby - 30 Jul 2011
First of all I would like to say thank you for how you replied to this message, no rude comments or something of the sort.
Many people think that crop farming is profitable, which I can see why. It is comparable to logging, where you get a large paycheck. But keep in mind that crop farmers have huge operating costs. A new combine would run you $350,000. One tractor would be upwards of $135,000. With monthly bill payments reaching over $10,000 it is hard to get by, and even harder to get an operation running. Property costs are another problem, with $2000/acre land prices and even finding tillable land that's for sale it is insanely difficult to buy enough to get started. A small crop operation around here would consist of 2000 acres. Multiple irrigations on every field would be required to ensure that your crops would not whither of droubt, another $75,000 for every one of those. Just the other day my brother had said that farmland requires a little less that 20 years to pay for itself, whether this number is accurate I am not sure. However I am sure that the number is atleast 10-15 years.
But the real reason why I want to be a dairy farmer is because of my deep love and compassion of animals. I want to bring the picture of a small family farm back. Where my future family would have enough to get by and not much more. There isn't exactly money to be made in dairy farming, but you can get by. In the early 1970s our farm costed about $1,000 to operate for one month. With inflation and rising fuel prices our farm today costs more than $100,000 per month to operate. Milk prices are low, but doable. We pay the bills and provide our employees with several rental houses and good sized paychecks. We donate to local charities and try to help our neighbors whenever possible. In early february our neighbors house had burned. A 70 year old couple with a 157 year old house had lost everything. So we offered them the house that we own across the road to them to stay in for the time being.
Anyways, I just want a simple lifestyle, but with animals. My compassion of animals today has made me plan my future early. Today, I have a farm of my own. I have 17 egg layers, 3 goats that have an oversized pen to ensure that they always have grass to chew on, 5 horses, 3 beef steers that are raised for 4h and several pigs for the same reason. It would also be a dream of mine to someday start an animal rescue that would save large animals such as horses from their abusive owners.
Thank you again for not being one of those close minded animal rights groups.