I know what you mean, but I tend to be empathetic to people as I have had a lot of failures in my life and done some stupid things too.
But I know what you mean. I had a lady that moved from out-of-state, and was going to tell us sheep farmers how to farm. I have seen this before, whether it be logging or farming and they never last, and this woman was the same way. I liked doing business with her though until she called me up one day desperate for a few sheep to meet her weekly slaughtering quota. She had a standing contract with some stores to provide locally grown, natural lamb and knew she could always count on me to send a few lambs or sheep her way if she needed them. I told her I had some, but it was not worth my time to haul them down to her, but if she needed them that she could come up and get them.
Desperate, she did. So a month and a half goes by and I have not seen a check for the sheep so I called her up and asked if I was getting paid for them. A few days later I received my check, but inside was a nasty note saying how she only made $20 on them after slaughtering, taxes, mileage and all that. I did not have much sympathy I can tell you because the reason I had culled those sheep was because they had not given me a lamb. On this farm I give my sheep 2 years to lamb, but raising sheep for 2 years gets expensive so while she MADE money on them...even if it was only $20, was better then the loss I took. Anyway she is no longer in the sheep business and moved back to MA. Yep she sure showed us how to raise sheep, she did it for 3 years and my family has been raising sheep since we got off the Mayflower.
I had to turn down a farming grant half way through a few years ago. The Cooperative Extension guy came in and was all puffed up and stated how I was doing everything wrong and how I needed $100,000 in new equipment and barns and stuff, and when I heard that I knew I was done listening to him. I am just a dumb farm kid, but I can tell you this, dairy farming may be high tech and high cash flow (they get paid every 2 weeks), but sheep farming is low tech and low cash flow since you only sell your lambs during certain times of the year. When a lamb carcass only nets you $150, you aren't going to make too many payments on 100 grand before you go belly up. Mot to mention sheep have 4 inches of wool and do not require much for housing. But when I asked the guy what he was basing his numbers on, he mentioned a guy who has a nice sheep farm, but what he failed to say was this guy owns a landscaping business in the biggest city in Maine and his farm is a write off which is why he has such a nice place. He did not get that place from just raising sheep.
It is this local knowledge that keeps a farmer in line. I feel bad for those that come in from out of state and just take these "expert" opinions for granted. They do not know better and it is killing the future of agriculture.
freetown fred wrote:
Can't say I feel any sympathy there NS--we've got Marathon Alpaca right close by--I've done some work for the guy & he is about nothing but greed & self serving. Those POOR people apparently didn't do much research on the Alpaca market--funny how those $$$$ signs get in the way of common sense--Alpaca's are about the dumbest animals I've ever had the misfortune of working around.To sum it up---it's mostly real rich people wanting to get richer & not much caring who they screw over on the way. $46,000.00 for 4 critters??? NOPE, ya can't fix STUPID.