Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeGrazing ManagementHow to Get Started In the Cattle Business

How to Get Started In the Cattle Business

The Louisiana Ranchers and Growers Association is putting together a series of instructional videos on raising cattle. The first one features On Pasture author Don Ashford. He and his wife Betty have been in the cattle business since 1956. With that many years behind him, he’s got a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. Here he starts with what the basics.

What would you add? What questions do you have? Share them below!

We’re looking forward to sharing more videos in this series as they become available.

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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.


  1. All good stuff. I would also add not to spend a lot of money at first on permanent infrastructure like fencing, water distribution, corrals, and buildings until you have a chance to learn some things that can only be learned through experience. Otherwise you will have a lot of money tied up in things that might not work quite right for you and are too expensive to replace. Also another suggestion that I have come across is to not go to multiple paddocks your first year and only divide your place into two paddocks. This will give you a chance to get some experience with the principles of planned/managed grazing before trying to plan your infrastructure layout. And the last suggestion is to attend a Bud Williams Stockmanship school as soon as possible, maybe even before you buy cattle if you have an opportunity to work with other cattle. This was a life changing experience for me. I was 54 years old when I took the class and I’ve been around cattle all of my life. If cattle are handled properly, so many problems just disappear. You do not need elaborate corrals. The corrals can be located anywhere because you will be able to drive them anywhere. Health issues are decreased. And the main thing for me has been that penning and sorting cattle by myself has become a pleasure that I now look forward to.

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