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Custom Grazing: Why I Got Out

By   /  August 27, 2018  /  5 Comments

After five start-up years as a custom grazier, Meg decided to make some changes. Here she talks about why and what her new set up is.

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I spent my first five years as a farmer raising custom cow-calf pairs, but my custom grazing days ar
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About the author

I graduated from West Virginia University in 2012 with a degree in livestock management, and a minor in agribusiness. While at WVU, I won a statewide entrepreneurship competition with a patentable device I designed for video-assisted cattle artificial insemination. I then spent six months interning for grazing expert Greg Judy in Missouri. Now I run Rhinestone Cattle Consulting, helping new and experienced farmers build profitable mob grazing beef operations. I offer artificial insemination, electric fence building and graphic design services too. I'll travel anywhere in the 48 states for on-farm consulting and speaking at conferences.

5 Comments

  1. Byron Palmer says:

    Hey Meg,

    Really enjoyed the article. We custom graze as well. We also direct market a small amount as well as sell organic finished cattle wholesale. I totally appreciate the part of your article talking about loosing autonomy when you have a herd owner. We spend a lot of time with requests, but also finding herd owners that can provide cattle at the scale we need. We spend time thinking about switching over to owning a larger percentage. However I did want to point out that the benefits you talked about being with being seasonal and carrying more units essentially increasing turnover can be achieved with custom grazing. We run cattle seasonally with yearlings and get the benefit of seasonality and higher stocking rates. Plus in our neck of the woods Cow/Calf has the lowest return per 100 weight of any class. So it pays to run yearlings or finishers if the finishers prices are weight adjusted. Thanks for sharing it was fun read!

  2. George says:

    Whats your website?

  3. Don K. says:

    You didn’t say how you were going to acquire your heifers. If you are going to buy them yourself at the local sale barn, I would suggest you make an agreement with one of the regular cattle buyers to purchase them for you. Even though you pay them a commission you would probably still come out spending less in the long run.

    • I purchased the heifers from a grassfed ranch in Kansas, through Bill Roberts of 12 Stones Grassland Beef. Bill acted as escrow and I trust him to find me the genetics I need for both myself and the buyer of my heifers to succeed. I dislike the idea of buying sale barn cattle because they can be sick, stressed, and from unknown genetic backgrounds/management schemes.

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