Hi to all. Im here in NYC at the moment, a Gay man age 59. I just checked the calendar and I'm 27 months from being able to qualify for the modest end (age 62) of Social Security. What to do, what to do? I've tried several time s in my life to leave the rat race, I've bought junk land (my fault--my due diligence was weak), battled with ultra conservative neighbors, the "good ole boy" establishment who obstructed any attempts to engage in alternative home building and pesticide free agriculture. Ive looked at and tried community living twice and found it lacking, due to too much internal politics and too much drama. I've been back in the city 10 years now, working the usual cruddy soul-sucking job, but now beginning to strategise for the time when I have that social security check coming in. In short, I have an idea that I would like to kick around with anyone regardless of their current situation. I therefore would like to propose a partnership idea, a joint business venture, with somebody who has (or is willing to buy) land, but would not necessarily have income for livestock. That is where I would come in. I am particularly interested in raising livestock that many people would consider "exotics", American Bison, White Mouflon Sheep, Blackbuck antelope to name the three primary ones that come to my mind. What about an arrangement where i buy breeders and we split offspring for resale? I have some experience in farming biodynamically but Im not interested in being tied to a property----you want to travel occasionally and so do I, and the more people to provide security (reliable people) the better. Id like a micro house to live in, my needs are very modest. I like warm weather, trees and bush country will do. I have a biology background and have some small livestock-keeping experience. I could go on, but in short, I am proposing a solution to help prime the pump---some seed money to help with livestock while you build your infrastructure---Let me know if this is of interest to anyone. Peace!
I can't help you there, but I do want to say that I like the way you're thinking. Raising animals that are exotic to your locale sounds kind of like a Sepp Holzer-ish tactic for making money, which he's pretty good at. And since they're exotic you can demand a higher price!
BTW are you the same Dave Burton who wrote the article on impaction in livestock overutilizing low quality forages? If so, nice article. Anyway thanks for that, my reasoning is this, that "exotics" though indigenous animals such as bison bison are also considered "exotic" apparrently, often have healthier immune systems than domesticated species, often birth easier with less intervention, can often utilize marginal land (Gemsbok are amazing animals in that respect) and have generally higher tollerances for climatic stresses especially drought and heat. Who can say what the next couple of generations will bring climactically, if planet Earth goes a few degrees hotter, exotics may come to our rescue. But yes its also a business tactic, I think very akin to a small producer producing a high value commodity instead of trying to grow corn and soy on a few acres and expecting to survive at that. Also, as I am not a spring chicken myself anymore, I like my money to be more fluid. I cant see buying real estate at my age, an expensive business, messy, taxes and so on, difficult to get out of when you need....who knows maybe I can "Johnny Appleseed" my idea, partner with some aspring back-to-the-landers, and use the next generation of animals to help others get started. I am in a unique position to do it, (or at least I will be in 27 months and counting.) Be well, thanks for the response. Mike
Haha! Gee, I wish that was me! I'm currently just stuffing my head with as much knowledge as I can before I start the first part of my transition into permaculture, which will be a lot of hands-on experience from anyone who'll take me, volunteering, and wwoofing! That way I'll then have lots of practical knowledge to under my belt for when I eventually setup my own projects. I am a completely different Dave Burton; my name is kind of common. (apparently my face, as well, because I get mistaken for lots of other people in real life)
I do not fit the bill anyway because I live in a Northern Latitude, but I would be very suspect of this working. Really, partnerships seldom do. Inevitably one person or the other feels they are contributing "more" and feelings get hurt and the lawyers get involved. In this situation neither party has any real legal recourse. The landowner is left with a squatter who has some fiscal interest in the farm, and the investor has livestock that is only partially theirs.
There are so many questions...who will take ownership for the inevitable mortality? If you have livestock, inevitably you have deadstock too.
Exotics work well fiscally at first because it is basically a paramid scheme with live animals, whomever gets in on the ground floor does well, but whomever is left holding the bag after the "breeders market" is over as it is called, can be left with exotic animals with no worth. When the bottom falls out who is going to owe who, what?
I could go on, but I can trunicate this here because there are other alternatives. State and Federal Farm Agencies all provide low interst loans for farmers...no matter what their credit is. I have bought sheep on credit from the small business administration of all places! So buying livestock is not that difficult. If they are too exotic, they might not be allowed to be bought, but that may be a fail-safe anyway. Standard livestock can ALWAYS be sold, and always hold their value. There is no breeders scam if there is always a market for both male and females.
But I caution anyone to buy livestock on credit anyway. It goes against Permie mindset, and common sense. If you canot afford the livestock in the first place, what if there is a disease outbreak and they all die? Then you are left paying an expensive debt with no livestock collateral to back it up. It is best to start small and grow as you can afford it.
A sincere thank you to all of Permies Forums for making Christmas special to Katie and I, and our four daughters. Thank you!
Location: New York City, USA
posted 4 months ago
Hi Travis. Thanks for the reply and I think you have identified some of the slippery stones in such an arrangement but I think that that a lot of people on this board are intentionally working in a way that pushes the envelope of convention so why not get a little experimental is my way of thinking...people who already have an established home and ag based business do not feel the imperative as keenly but this will I believe appeal to others. I think that my first step in this is throwing the idea our to this forum as multiple heads are better than one and i appreciate tour perspectice. And fear not..i already have plenty of experience getting burned in finabcial dealings even when there was a clear contract... But I don't think I'd enter into anything without some legal oversight..and it comes to mind that I would also not put my eggs in one basket either. Looking aacross this board i see lots of people trying to bridge she gap between landless and landowners...I might be able to remove one obstacle..but I am not talking anything like "welfare". Regarding pricing I actually have been tracking the prices on exotics for more than 40 years and I can attest to the fact that theyve not only held their value but g increased in multiples.while animals bred for the table can be had still very reasonably if today's Craigslist ads are to be believed. I'm slowly warming I feel to do a demonstration project to test the feasabikity of the idea. Something that would be a distant cousin to the ethical bank concept. But we can agree on one thing..sheep are prolific if nothing else..and where you have big ones you soon have little ones. I think they should be definitely the cornerstone of such a plan based on their reproductive rate alone. Be well. Mike
Can I rent your land to raise bison/antelope/sheep. And I will pay you in bison/sheep.
I also want to go on vacations too so hopefully, we can hire some help at some point.
Looking for RV hookup for my tinyhouse, somewhere warm (zone 8 or 9 or 10).
Mark Shephard has a bunch of people operating businesses on his farm. But, he doesn't really get into this side of things in detail, in his book or anywhere else I've found.
As best I can tell, his model is leasing access to the farm for xyz purpose, not a partnership on certain animals... but I am very unclear on the details.
Interestingly he is also big on use of credit..
If it's of value, my reaction(as someone with [northern]land and very interested in other people doing farmy things on it), was 'yikes, complicated'.
Location: New York City, USA
posted 4 months ago
Thanks for that Dillon...I'll do some research in that direction and I appreciate the positivity of your response.Mike
Location: Victoria BC
posted 4 months ago
I bet there would be good interest in a thread on your observations of exotic pricing. I recall hearing of price collapses in a number of instances, but it may be significant that(I think)these were fad animals being purchased/marketed for pets/hobbyists. Perhaps exotics that are being used for meat or other practical farm purposes have not gone through this cycle?
The core of my 'yikes' is that if I leased some land to someone in exchange for, say, zebras... all goes well, and now I have zebras(zebri? zebra?) What the heck do I do with zebras?? Another thing to learn, care for, and worst of all, market! In the absence of a market, livestock become a cost/liability...
Now, if I'd been dreaming zebras for years and lacked the funds, your plan would sound great. But this seems to narrow your target market a bunch, and the details have a lot of room for devils.
On the other hand, if you were going to keep all the zebra cubs and pay me cash, things become much simpler, regardless of my feelings about zebra. Perhaps over time I discover how amazing zebras are, and it becomes more of a joint venture... but the up-front risk/demands on my time are greatly reduced, and the whole structure of the arrangement is greatly simplified...
Hope this is coming across helpful and not just negative..
Location: New York City, USA
posted 4 months ago
Hi Dillon..no you are not coming across negatively at all. I perhaps didn't elaborate on all my thoughts..sometimes people just get stuck in the details and miss the larger theme..I certainly have no intention of handing over expensive exotics to a person with absolutely no conversation and screening in advance..this is a business plan I'm trying to develop ...if you raised guppies I'm not going to propose you keep gemsbok..and if you once had beagle we won't be discussing you getting a blesbok. But if you ever showed a heifer at 4h...maybe we can talk about Zebus and if you're a sheep or goat person..perhaps you would find some White Texas Dall sheep up your alley. For more pricey animals there would have to be discussions on appropriate fencing..habitat enrichment and a feeding plan to name a few topics..and then it has to get done..and I'd really like to see somebody woo me with their knowledge of the species discussed...and not with impulsivity that it would be cool to have a bison in the back yard and I'm broke so let's go for it... . Id be looking for candidates with skills knowlege and experience ..somebody in that group would be well to have a biology background..or something like Vet Assistant or AI certification or.lab technician and with at least prior experience handling cattle sheep or horses. Its about being a good risk that you can handle what comes up... And articulate problems when things do go off keel. Someone made mention of my comment about "going on vacation"... What I was getting at is a security plan which is also vital to protect that mutual investment....because sadly I don't know anywhere in the USA where you can leave your gate open in this day and age and expect to find your toolschickens pigs tractor and exotics to be there waiting for you when you get back. A pair of breeders worth $3,000 to $7000 just won't survive your 6 hour fun day out and to my mind its a team that is best suited for this ....particularly because its a joint business venture..and not an individual one..... I think that's a marvelous idea Dillon.....a buy back of the animals as a safety feature..or an option to buy might instill confidence.....but I feel strongly that if I had a simple lease on the pasture or property it does not give that landowner a feeling of ownership of that little hoofed outcome when it arrives... ...there's more I might say...but again the idea is still a lump of clay needing features...but the discussion is helpful..so thanks to everyone participating...I've already had a couple inquiries....
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