We finally got all the square bales into the barn loft. We have quite a few more round bales to cut, rake, bale, and move to the barn lot, but all that is tractor work. Tractor work is still a hot job, but it takes a lot less muscle to operate a tractor than to carry hay bales.
I really enjoy working on the farm a lot, but I am glad I am not counting on it for my primary source of income. You don’t realize how much mark-up there is on beef until you start working with cattle ranchers. They get around $1.00-$1.50 a pound live weight for the beef. All said and done around $1100 for the average beef cow. By the time this amount of beef reaches the store shelves it average $3.50 a pound. Of course you have to figure in that a few hundred pounds are waste products and there is cost involved in the butchering, but all in all the wholesalers and retailers make more off the beef than the original farmer.
I would have to sell 50 head of beef to make my salary not counting the cost of grain, hay, and equipment maintenance. Mom’s little farm sells way less than that. Probably the reason she has yet to see a profit from it in 10 years.
Well that’s enough ranting about the poor farmers who struggle to make the bills each year, yet are so necessary for our nations survival.