A few years after we had gotten established and Mother and I embraced country living, we had a family member approach us with an idea to start a ranch. I was all about it until it meant livestock. I'm not about livestock, I don't do poop and I surely don't do horns. This was going to be Allen's project. That lasted about a minute...
#1 Don't do it.
#2 Seriously, adhere to #1
#3 Okay, since you insist, first rule of thumb is GOOD FENCING. Always, good fencing. It's as much about keeping them in as it is about keeping others out!
#4 Good water source. That will make or break your herd.
#5 Good breed. We chose the Longhorns because we're cool like that! Actually, Allen spent a lot of time researching and contacting breeders and getting solid information. There is never a dull moment with this breed (or any breed really) and we have come such a long way I'm not sure I can even recall all the crazy cattle we have been through to get a solid foundation herd and good quality steers.
#6 Plan to be broke for the rest of your life. Refer to #1.
Don't get me wrong, I'm completely in love with what we do. What started as an adventure became a monstrous chore became a purpose to now a passionate mission. We started selling beef and now we serve families. There were a lot of rude awakenings, painful relationships and expensive lessons involved in this process. Now entering our fifth market season, we enjoy the process of educating folks and connecting with others who desire a clean, healthy beef option. And we're even experimenting with some better genetics to engage the upper echelons of the longhorn world. This will take considerably more time, and for now we're enjoying our connections with incredible folks and winning over clients one ounce at a time :)