Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Grandpa's Ranch by Satellie

Grandpa's Ranch by Satellie
Originally uploaded by David B..
As you can see from the notes attached to this image, grandpa gradually acquired several parcels of ground to complete his ranch holdings, over a period of about 20 years, he purchased several different parcels of land, and homesteaded land as well. In the end he was able to aquire some 2500 acres of land, complete with water, oil, and mineral rights.

He was able to run about 250 head of cows and calves from this operation. The cultivated land provided enough hay and grain that he did not have to buy feed for his livestock for the winter. In the summer, he had grazing permits on BLM and Forest Service lands to run cattle, sheep, and a few head of horses on the open range.

He was also fortunate that he was able to operate on a "cash basis" - that is, he did not have to take out loans each spring to cover planting crops, and purchasing materials and supplies to grow and harvest crops. Because of this, he was able to avoid using debt to finance his operations.

The only debts he ever carried were mortgages for the purchase of the properties themselves. And then, he would do all he could to pay them off early. Once the properties were paid for, he never took out a loan for ANYTHING for the rest of his life. Even when purchasing vehicles, tractors, and farm machinery, he would always write out a check, and pay for the equipment in-full at the time of sale. These thrifty practices were a part of his mindset, having been a young adult, and struggling with raising a young family during the great depression. He and grandma had tremendous financial discipline.

Something we could learn from them today.

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