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November 2004

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

I heard the saying before, "If you don't like the weather in South Dakota wait an hour or so and it will change". Last Thursday was a beautiful day with little wind and temperatures in the seventies. Then Friday came; the wind blew, rain started and we ended the day without electricity and the ground was white. The snow did not stay, but it sure enough was white in October.

Changing seasons has brought about changes on the ranch as well, but we are still being ruled by a two month old baby girl. Heidi and I are through our second year of selling calves we raised. The nerves and anxiety before selling calves is something that is hard to describe, but it affects each livestock owner differently. Personally, I get crabby and short tempered. Good thing ranch wives are very understanding; and my mother and wife are no exception!

Building our herd, Dad and I are planning to purchase a few Hereford cows this fall. These cows will add to the F1 replacement program we have started. In 2004, we bred some Black Angus cows to Hereford bulls, but I'd like to try a few Hereford cows bred Angus, as well.

On our ranch we raise registered Morgan horses in addition to cattle. I am a little biased, but this is an outstanding breed of horses that my parents have established. They go back to Red Correll and Triple S bloodlines in the Morgan Association. These horses have no buck, strong stamina, are easy to ride, and have a lot of cow sense.

In an effort to market more horses, my parents sent a horse back to a trainer in the Sioux Falls area this fall. He uses the John Lyon's method and is near my sister's home. My Dad has broken more horses than most people will ride in their life, but this is a new and fun experience for him. This program is such a great find for us, as Dad is not as young as he once was, yet still holds that deep love for riding young horses. This love cannot be replaced and keeps my dad young at heart. Since my brother is a National Collegiate Champion saddle bronc rider and my sister and her kids ride weekly, if not daily, horses and rodeo bond my family together, like golfing does some city families.

Another change is that my parents and us have begun talking about an estate plan that would involve Heidi and I paying the premiums on a life insurance policy that would cover the purchase of the land if something happened to either of them. This very common method of passing down farms and ranches through multiple generations appears as though it will work very well. The policy will be on my mother, as my father is almost uninsurable due to health related issues. Since Heidi and I own the policy and pay the premiums, we will be the beneficiaries. If anything would happen to my mother before my father, we would have the choice to leave the life insurance policy with the company to draw interest, or cash out. When the time comes, we will have the funds to purchase the ranch from my siblings to continue operating as my parents and we are currently designing.

Additionally, my parents have talked with their lawyer and with my siblings. As a result, there is a lot less animosity between my siblings and me. Next step is to talk with the insurance agent and learn about our options.

Please contact me at 605/985-5447 or sandalsj@gwtc.net if you are interested in what I do for an off-ranch position from my ranch home, our Morgan horses, our cattle program, and/or how my parents, my wife and I are overcoming multi-generation ranching hurdles.

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.

I heard the saying before, "If you don't like the weather in South Dakota wait an hour or so and it will change". Last Thursday was a beautiful day with little wind and temperatures in the seventies. Then Friday came; the wind blew, rain started and we ended the day without electricity and the ground was white. The snow did not stay, but it sure enough was white in October.

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