Posted 5/2/2021 09:43 (#8983063 - in reply to #8982682) Subject: RE: Current cattle biz? Quit or stay?
What’s the point of of busting your butt if you need your wife to work so your family can eat?
The answer usually seems to be because as a farmer you are working for equity, paying for land, equipment, and/or cows. But what is that all for? Just to show your kids how hard you worked, they don’t want to repeat that cycle, and when you die they fight over your assets and the whole thing causes your family to break up?
Or worse, you have multiple kids that want to farm, you try to build a multi-generational operation but the next gen wants to try some new things, you hold power because you hold the debt, or equity to leverage for expansion....debt, and your kids grow resentful of you. Then they grow resentful of each other because they are shackled together if they want to farm at all, and they have some different interests in pursuits, and the moment they are able to, which may be at your death, they split off and don’t talk to each other anymore from their long held resentments... and your true legacy, your family, is broken up by it all.
I’m not a bitter former farm kid thought it may seem that way. I was able to split away from my dads operation before it got too far along that path. But it is so common to find similar scenarios in every ag community, yet people keep repeating the cycle. It saddens me.
A local rancher who I helped calve his cows this spring, who has gone through his share of family problems, shared with me something the patriarch of one of the last large sheep operations in the state said before he died. He had lived to see his 2 sons split apart and hate each other. He said that had he known he would go to his grave with his sons not speaking to each other, he would have gotten out of ranching before it happened.
How many similar stories do we all know? And what are we doing to prevent the cycle from repeating in our own families?