Farm Life: Tangible Assets

In farming, wealth has less to do with cash flow than one’s accumulated assets:  Property, buildings, machinery, storage bins, livestock.  In farming, cash does not flow consistently, as well bi-weekly pay cheques.  

Rather, large sums may go to the bank when part of the herd is sold, or the harvested crop is delivered.  Then, months may go without additional deposits.  Of course, expenses do not necessarily follow this timing.  Fuel must be purchased to run the equipment and heat homes and barns.  Food must be purchased to feed the family and livestock.  Buildings and fences need upkeep and repairs.  When unexpected bills arrive, where does the farmer come up with the cash?

Those same assets are in essence the farmer’s bank account.  An old piece of machinery might be set out by the road with a “For Sale” sing on it.  Some of those bales of hay stacked in the barn might be sold to hobby-farm owners.  A few head of cattle might go to the stock yard.  Some times these might be bartered with someone who can provide the service.

Recently, our neighbor, with whom we raise goats, had a number of vehicle repairs to attend to.  We selected which goats to keep for breeding and which to send to the sale.  Our barn will be a little quieter for a while.  But, then there are all those ducks following me around every morning.


About hermitsdoor

Up here in the mountains, we have a saying, "You can't get there from here", which really means "We wouldn't go the trouble to do that". Another concept is that "If you don't know, we ain't telling." For the rest, you'll have to read between the lines.
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4 Responses to Farm Life: Tangible Assets

  1. Barneysday says:

    I heard a mid-western farmer interviewed a few years back. He claimed that over any 10-year period, that perhaps 3-4 years were terrible, 3-4 might be just marginable to average, and 2-3 were so good, as to carry the rest of the decade. I can certainly believe that’s the case.

    Good thoughts.

    • hermitsdoor says:

      I think that the few “farmers” who are doing better than breaking even most years, are absentee “investment” owners, who rent their property, or file for land-bank subsidies from the Dept. of Agriculture to get paid to leave their land fallow.

  2. Fewer goats, or no goats? Since I just started buying goat’s milk, and am a new fan, this one hit me hard. Hope you’ve saved up some cheese (can you do that?)

    • hermitsdoor says:

      The count is two milk goats now, though one is a yearling and may be too young to breed this year. When we dry them up for breeding, the milk stops and thus the cheese production. Soft goat cheese will keep about a month. Hard cheese will keep longer, but this is a more involved process that we are up to at this time. We have some local farms which make cheese, so we support them this time of year.

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