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Old 10-07-2012, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,387,741 times
Reputation: 6821

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
My prediction is that, within a few years, Americans will be eating very little grain-fed beef. The cost of corn, combined with beef's very poor 8:1 feed conversion ratio, will make it simply unaffordable. Grass-fed cattle, on the other hand, convert something we humans can't eat--grass--into something that we can eat--beef or dairy products. I think that ranchers with decent range will do very well in the coming years, but their cattle will have to stay on the range until they are nearly ready for market. The days of cattle doing most of their growing eating grain in feedlots will be drawing to a close.
"Beef - It's what's for the 1%!"
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:07 AM
 
10 posts, read 12,370 times
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Thanks for the insight. Where I am located in central AZ, crime and explosive out of control development have ruined the rural lifestyle. I have been involved in either cattle or agriculture nearly all of my life and desperately want out of here. Water is not an issue here in the middle of the AZ desert but politics and regulation are. I guess I will continue looking. Thanks a bunch.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:13 AM
 
Location: OKLAHOMA
1,778 posts, read 3,500,265 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
"Beef - It's what's for the 1%!"

I can agree with you even though I raise cattle. 1 percenter remark. Gosh, I get sticker shoick when I am at the meat market. The problem with leaving them on your pastures is the drought. Last year we started feeding grain and hay a month and a half early with getting 1/2 the hay from your fields. Thankfully, we had a lot of carry over from the year before. This year is a little better but the winter grasses are still not what they should be. I now take the calves off the pasture at 500 to 600 pounds and then just sell them when in the past I could get to a weight of almost ready to slaughter for the table. We do feed grain all winter, no choice if you want alive cattle come spring.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Burlington, Colorado
347 posts, read 693,898 times
Reputation: 485
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
My prediction is that, within a few years, Americans will be eating very little grain-fed beef. The cost of corn, combined with beef's very poor 8:1 feed conversion ratio, will make it simply unaffordable. Grass-fed cattle, on the other hand, convert something we humans can't eat--grass--into something that we can eat--beef or dairy products. I think that ranchers with decent range will do very well in the coming years, but their cattle will have to stay on the range until they are nearly ready for market. The days of cattle doing most of their growing eating grain in feedlots will be drawing to a close.
Would you say this in turn means beef production will shift eastward?
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:18 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,216,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohazco View Post
Would you say this in turn means beef production will shift eastward?
Not necessarily. I think cattle will just stay on the range for more of their lives. I do foresee a lot of marginal farmland going back to grass range in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain West, though.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 623,907 times
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I'm reining this thread back in to give an update on the tiny rural community of Branson, Colorado. Been 6 years since I first set foot here, and I moved here full-time 5 years ago as a refugee from Boulder. The Wheel of Life continues turning -- and now I'm getting the itch for something that will feed me in a different way. More of a reflection on me than on this locale, which still, in its blank-spot-on-the-map quirkiness, has surprisingly much to offer.

Granted, a place this small (pop. now back up into the 60+ range: that's people, does not include dogs, chickens, horses, cats, and cows) will not make the short list for many. And the pros and cons of peaceful, slow, rural living have been elucidated more than once on this site. Heed them well.

Go back and read (or reread) this thread and look at some of the pix I posted a while back. A lot hasn't changed at all, but at the same time, a lot has. Our school is doing great, thanks to a new Superintendent who came on several years ago. For people who want a very small, family-style K-12 public school, it doesn't get too much better than this. Everything has been upgraded: Kids are finding success educationally and socially; campus buildings have been spruced up; curricula has been expanded; and we're now joining with another rural school for high-school golf, track, and football. Branson School Online continues steady along with the brick-and-mortar(BAM) school. We've got a high percentage of kids who travel from Trinidad 4 days a week for the unique quality and atmosphere that Branson School offers.

The Community Church (non-denominational Christian) has Sunday services, a Youth Group, monthly potlucks open to everyone, and a Vacation Bible School that usually pulls in over 60 or so kids from surrounding areas in CO and NM. Not everyone here attends, but those that do are happy with the offerings and special events.

We've been successful over the past couple of years bringing massage and natural healing practitioners here to town for a day or two, and the appointments fill up fast. Our little library continues to be a gem, though we've had trouble finding enough volunteers to keep the doors open much. This past summer, we continued with a Story and Activity Hour for kids, which was well-received.

The dream of a "Town Cow" materialized, and a few households went in on a milk cow (two, actually), so the fresh milk, cream, and ice cream flows among them. Others signed up for a CSA out of the Cheraw area, and enjoyed baskets of regularly delivered food in season. We go in on mainly grass-fed beef, too, and pork, and also enjoy fresh eggs. The drought is still with us, though we enjoyed some pretty good rain this summer.

For the first time in several years, we have a full Town Council, and some musical chairs have led to a new Town Clerk, Water Clerk, and Mayor. The only way it works here is if folks wear lots of different hats, so they do.

We successfully convinced the USPS to keep our Post Office open, and at least for the time being, we have 6-day delivery and window service. Our water system (bona fide, State-approved, with springs located on the mesa behind us) has had some issues, which are being worked out.

Some of us are surprised that, given the craziness of the world out there, a few more young families, Internet entrepreneurs, or artists/writers haven't found their way to our door seeking peace, quiet, and the vast openness of the plains to the north and east. There's some housing available for rent or purchase (incuding a fixer-upper on 3/4 acre that could be had for about $20K and also offers potential for some type of small cafe/market/store, which we do not now have and nearly everyone wants).

The ranch/cowbody culture is a species unto itself, and deserves respect by anyone who considers taking up residence in an area where private property is king, cattle is queen, and responsible gun ownership is the norm. People tend to just be people, though, and there's a live-and-let-live quality to things. BTW, AT&T cell service is fine here now, with other providers offering some less-reliable service. Internet is available through satellite; people who want dish TV have it; and there appears to be progress toward creating some type of community WiFi.

If being 50 miles away from food, shopping, health care, hospital, banking, the Interstate, and just about everything else doesn't faze you (Trinidad and/or RatonNM); and you can hang with a self-reliant and often-maddeningly slow pace of getting things done...

...and if you want the comfort and groundedness of the country and need a break from the chaos, traffic, crime, arrogance, and insanity of the Fast-Food Nation...

...and if you're not too hip and happening to show up at Bingo night at the school cafeteria or to attend the Spelling Bee or volunteer for just about anything that needs to get done...

...Branson, Colorado, might be worth your checking out. Rural isn't perfect and it comes with its very own set of distinct challenges. No sugar-coating here. For a lot of us, though, it beats out the alternatives, hands-down. Whether for a year or 5 or 10 or a lifetime.
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:35 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,216,965 times
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bovinedivine describes living in a very small, isolated town in the Rocky Mountain/Great Plains region quite well. Bluntly, though, most metropolitan residents--swarmy dreams of living in such a place notwithstanding--simply don't have what it takes to live in such places. Many of them simply lack the temperament, life skills, willingness to sacrifice, adaptability, and plain ol' hard guts that such places require. They also, more often than not, fail to understand even the basics of the geography, climate, and environment of those places. Metro residents, surrounded by "artificial" environments, have often lost any connection to those things where they live. In that metro "bubble" that may not matter too much, but out in the hinterlands, it DOES matter, and one must adapt to that reality. So, places like Branson are likely to remain what they are--places populated by a scant number of folks who actually know how to exist there. That isn't a bad thing.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 623,907 times
Reputation: 439
Thanks, Jazz.

Truth, eloquence, and deep understanding all rolled up in one package! Actually rather warm and fuzzy, in a jazzylove kind of way. (:

Thanks for reminding me why I love my neighbors (OK, most of them) and why I'm proud to live out here with them, where the plains meet the mesas.

Since I posted yesterday, another family with three children is moving into town. That makes 7 new youngsters in residence since the school year began. It's a veritable boomlet!
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Old 08-07-2016, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 623,907 times
Reputation: 439
Default Perhaps You Have A Heart For Rural!

It's been nearly 2 years since my last post here. During that time I spent on and off nearly a year in northern California, mesmerized and nourished by the land, the food, the people, the music, the vibe, the commitment to progressive change, and that whole mystical, magical thing that has drawn people to the West/Left Coast nearly forever.

Imagine my surprise come January 2016, when all I wanted was to jump in my 21-year-old Jeep and return to the anti-California of quiet, dry, windy, droughty, peaceful, tiny, definitively unhip, oft-exasperating, Branson, Colorado. After first setting foot here in 2008 (Living in Boulder County at the time!), it's home to me now, a perfect base of operations from which to explore other places, hit the highway when the Song of the Open Road calls, and to settle into when it's time to focus, ground, create, build, and dream (not necessarily in that order).

There's a lot on this thread about this "wicked tiny place" -- some of it still accurate, some not. Rather than repeat the facts over and over, I simply want to toss out the notion that, while going rural is decidedly not for everyone, perhaps it's something you may want to consider at this juncture in your life. In very very small communities, people have no choice but to find a way to get along. This is no faux, contrived version of intentional community: the process is organic, not always elegant, sometimes crazy-making, and change does not happen overnight.

When all is said and done, however, I love getting fresh eggs from several of my neighbors and knowing how they care for their hens. I feel blessed every day I can look at the changing sky and hear the train whistle (even in the middle of the night), and sit in my backyard and watch birds and bunnies and clothes on the line flapping in the breeze, and observe the grasshoppers as they munch on practically everything in sight.

In the past 6 months alone, I have hosted a CA friend who ended up staying for a month and helping me with my labors of love here; a young woman from The Netherlands who has visited enough times that she is now akin to extended family; two men from Texas taken by the relentless quiet and the nearby topography; and other friends and family who need a retreat from their metropolitan, traffic-clogged, stressed-out existences.

Granted, city-data is about, well, data and information. But sometimes it's best to circumvent the workings of the mind and listen to your heart and spirit -- no matter how impractical or preposterous or frighteningly alien the message might appear to be. You never know; you just might discover that a part of you wants precisely what only a remote, rural place can offer!

If you want to explore my neck of the woods, feel welcome to PM me...
Attached Thumbnails
Seeking a rural, SE ranch town w/grasslands & mesas?-rsmesaphoto.jpg   Seeking a rural, SE ranch town w/grasslands & mesas?-lclexteriorwithsign.jpg   Seeking a rural, SE ranch town w/grasslands & mesas?-spanish-peaks-sunset.jpg  
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,657 posts, read 9,189,749 times
Reputation: 4566
Wow. Thanks for checking back in. Great to hear from you!

I never heard of Branson, so I checked it out. Now I know why.

Found this on Wikipedia: "The Town of Branson is a Statutory Town in Las Animas County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 74 at the 2010 United States Census. Branson is the southernmost town in the state of Colorado, located just 0.30 miles (0.48 km) from the New Mexico border.

Branson is located approximately 35 miles east of Trinidad, Colorado, on State Highway 389, in the Great Plains, as well in the Black Mesa area, the town is surrounded by mesa. It is a ranching community today. Farming in the area was severely impacted by the dust bowl. Branson is much smaller than it once was in more optimistic days and features some picturesque abandoned buildings."
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