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Ranching in the Future – What Should Young Ranchers Expect?

By   /  January 7, 2019  /  4 Comments

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I recently received a note from a young friend (let’s call her Peggy Sue) who desperately wants to
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  • Published: 2 years ago on January 7, 2019
  • By:
  • Last Modified: December 15, 2020 @ 2:10 pm
  • Filed Under: Money Matters

About the author

John Marble grew up on a terribly conventional ranch with a large family where each kid had their own tractor. Surviving that, he now owns a small grazing and marketing operation that focuses on producing value through managed grazing. He oversees a diverse ranching operation, renting and owning cattle and grasslands while managing timber, wildlife habitat and human relationships. His multi-species approach includes meat goats, pointing dogs and barn cats. He has a life-long interest in ecology, trying to understand how plants, animals, soils and humans fit together. John spends his late-night hours working on fiction, writing about worlds much less strange than this one.

4 Comments

  1. Tauna says:

    Well said! excellent article.

  2. Ty Mason says:

    Maybe “Peggy Sue” should be referred to Greg Judy. He does exactly the kind of ranching talked about in this article.

  3. Paul M Nehring says:

    Well said. Best wishes to Peggy Sue.

  4. The Grass Whisperer says:

    Awesome perspective John. Glad you took that hill because folks around here think it’s too negative but the rule of reality dictates other strategies. My ancestors all farmed and had diverse talents; barn building, accounting, hop-picking, postmaster, marketer, deacon, etc. It made sense since the ebbs and flows of farming required other financial ventures to keep the “whole” going. But their time and the community was different as everyone relied on their neighbors and agriculture was “it”. The kids today, like myself, want to farm but the kick in the teeth is we generally have to quell some of our expectations. Working another job, in addition to finding your farming range, is smart but often frustrating. It helps to share the outlier stories and aspire to go against the machine. Since most farming situations are highly local, adaptation is key. Knowing and going with your unfair advantage does create positive niches. Problem is, competition wants what you have so you have to keep innovating or just plain be the best. I’m concerned there is too much pressure placed on the sanctity of farming full-time while you’re shunned for having off-farm jobs. I get this every day as I write this at 4 am working at another career. I’m just blissfully arrogant enough to not listen to the noise. That’s were your rugged individualist is shining! Thanks Young Man

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