Adapting to Drought – Lessons That Lead to Success

In my February article, A Start-Up Grazier Shares Lessons Learned, I outlined several lessons we have learned in the early years of our cattle operation. Kathy asked that I share more details about each of the lessons from that first article to cover more of the challenges and solutions we developed along the way. Lesson #1: Endure climatic challenges and cattle market volatility As misfortune would have it, 2012 challenged us with a historic drought and unbearable heat not common to North Missouri. Our new venture began, almost immediately, with us feeding hay in mid-summer as we ran out of grass. If not for government assistance we would’ve lost money in our first year! In fact, we went on to lose money in four of our first five years with the one profitable year being a boon in the market on steers. Luckily that one good year put us in the black on the financials.   Excitement Turned to Disappointment I still remember the day our first load of steers arrived and the excitement we all felt. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t

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