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December 2004

Agriculture.com Staff 07/07/2010 @ 9:09am

As Christmas nears and the year 2004 comes to an end, we hustle from place to place and seldom realize the gifts the year has brought to us. The year 2004 at the Sandal ranch gave a lot of tangible and intangible gifts to be thankful for. We experienced record cattle prices, a new healthy baby girl was born into our family, good health for everyone else, and I have started a new position with a company called AgInfoLink. Yes, I have started a new job.

My decision to leave Wells Fargo EFS was not an easy decision to make. The security of great benefits, five years of service to a company, and a network of friends and colleagues are hard to walk away from. I worked in a variety of roles, from network engineer, to team manager, to software developer; which was the position that allowed me to move back to our family ranch. However, one of my favorite quotes is from John D. Rockefeller. He said, "Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." That is what I decided an offer from AgInfoLink brought to the table for me.

I had often thought about attempting to work for a beef industry company as an information technology specialist, but positions such as that do not come through Howes, SD, all too often. I thought about starting my own company, but I have three young children to care for, so that really wasn't an option. This offer was truly an opportunity that would be moving from something good to something great. I will continue to be a software developer; however, I will focus on a system that has much more interest and meaning to my ranching passion.

My new job, and the change of our outlook on the ranching operation, gives me the ability to devote more time to researching marketability programs for the calves we raise, and allows more daily working on the ranch. My new role has flexible hours, as long as our projects are on target.

We have expanded our herd again, which now includes Hereford cattle from a local registered breeder. For our "foundation" herd we are focusing on maternal traits, which include traceable breeding stock into our first-cross program.

Dad and I have discussed implementing an eID system into our ranching operation. Since I will be working directly with this type of software, it is inevitable that we will eID our cattle. There are many benefits brought about by an eID system and we believe there is profitability to be gained. We have every intention of continuing to brand our calves, as we live in a brand inspection area and that is a great visual ID program.

In recent months, my parents have talked with my brother and sister regarding a change to the estate plan that will allow Heidi and I to become more comfortable in building future goals for the ranch operation. Since those discussions, my parents have modified their will which has given Heidi and I the opportunity develop goals that are more realistic.

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all readers of Agriculture Online! May next year be as wonderful and giving to you and yours as this year has been for us.

Location: Howes, SD

Business: Cow/calf operation

Develop a business plan that includes estate planning and integrated resource management for their cow/calf operation's future.

Modify the base cow herd and move into niche markets with Scott's parents.

Design a method to continue the operation Heidi and Scott build together, upon his parents' decision to retire.

As Christmas nears and the year 2004 comes to an end, we hustle from place to place and seldom realize the gifts the year has brought to us. The year 2004 at the Sandal ranch gave a lot of tangible and intangible gifts to be thankful for. We experienced record cattle prices, a new healthy baby girl was born into our family, good health for everyone else, and I have started a new position with a company called AgInfoLink. Yes, I have started a new job.

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