You Dont Need a Personality Test to Buy a Texas Ranch
There are several lists, tests, reports and entire books floating around on the qualities one needs or a personality type which is best suited to be an entrepreneur, a nurse, teacher, politician, etc. What kind of person succeeds being a rancher, a farmer, a cattleman, a land and ranch owner in Texas – or anywhere for that matter? Since Texas is all about BIG, maybe you just need some BIG personality traits, but more likely, you need a lot of little talents and skills – that proverbial Jack of all trades, master of nothing.
Fresh air, wide open spaces, land, rural life, back to nature, stars overhead like you’ll never see in the city, raising a family with farm values, home schooling, riding the range, producing your own food ~ so many positive features. Let’s go buy a Texas ranch right now. A BIG one.
Whoa, pardner, whoa. Think this through a little, especially if you did not grow up on a farm or ranch. The rewarding aspects of the ranching lifestyle are the result of much:
- Problem solving
No matter what you plan to raise, you need to know a lot about:
- The land and the ground
- Forage and pasture management
- Water sources
- Nutrition and health for livestock
- Fences and gates
- crisis management.
It’s not a deal breaker if you don’t know much. Then you need to be a voracious reader and learner. The Internet is a veritable encyclopedia of everything, complemented by books and magazines specific to your endeavors. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is the cooperative extension service which operates offices in 250 of the Lone Star State’s 254 counties (BIGgest number of counties of any state in the nation by 95).
All farming and ranching is labor-intensive, and many chores take longer than you anticipate. Hiring labor is one of those costs which needs to be included in your business plan or budget worksheet. Livestock, for example, don’t just take care of themselves. Cows get caught in fencing, contract diseases, wander off your property, have birthing issues, and you need to know how to identify genetically, high quality animals for your herd in the first place. Often, the tax advantages of agricultural land seem appealing, but that has to be balanced with expenses, labor, time and the potential for success. Maintenance for a ranch is magnified from that of owning a home, and one has to be astute at determining how much livestock or crops the land will support.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension are valuable resources for land management. Prices for beef, cotton and other livestock and crops fluctuate based on supply and demand and can be further influenced by weather and global events out of anyone’s direct control.
One needs also to factor in equipment costs of tractors, trucks, gates and fencing, irrigation devices, small pens, tools, etc. Money management skills are imperative as farm sales may occur a couple times a year or just in one season, while expenses come along faithfully every month. You don’t need to take some overly-developed personality test to discover if you have lots of energy, some common sense, a little financial proficiency and a love for the land. You already know. Factor in a willingness to learn and a drive to succeed, and you might just have all it takes to find happiness and achieve success on your very own Texas land or ranch.