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Old 11-08-2011, 02:45 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,202 times
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My husband and I are really thinking about moving our family out to the colorado area, we love the out doors and want to raise the kids on a farm, although we only have little hands on knowledge from living in both Alabama and Missouri and mostly with cattle and smaller animals. I think that we could teach our selves and we are fast learners. I belive it would be the best way to raise the kids. we have 5 of them our oldest being 11 which I know is old to start on a farm but he loves animals and loves to help. I'm not looking for anyone to hand me info I have done alot of my own research on EVERYTHING, I am now just looking for some input from the people of Colorado that are already there. whats it like there? I know what the internet has told me but thats not always the most accurate. what can you people tell me? Thanks so much, and what area would you guys reccomend? we are not affraid of being away from people or being near people I would like a good community to live in with great schools, but doesn't have to be big or small.
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Old 11-08-2011, 03:28 PM
Status: "Planning for the future." (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,695 posts, read 28,600,506 times
Reputation: 6871
price range? is rural ok?
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:35 PM
 
794 posts, read 1,505,993 times
Reputation: 1163
It used to be said that the best way to end up with a million dollars farming in Colorado was to start with two million. This is no longer true; today you would need to start with a lot more than that.

Where in Colorado are you thinking? And what do you want to raise? Cattle in Grand Junction? Melons in Rocky Ford? Wheat in Burlington? Sheep in Monte Vista? Market produce in Ft. Collins? Horses in Divide?

How much capital can you bring to the project? What kind of community life do you want - there are still farms so remote from schools that children board in town during the week.

And when you ask, "What's it like there?" what is what like where? There are people who can give you very valuable information, but you need to be more open about what specifically you need to know.
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:57 PM
 
20,382 posts, read 37,949,187 times
Reputation: 18194
Much better chance to farm in MO than to come here where it's arid and water rights are a big deal, both financially and legally.
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:09 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,189,413 times
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Being a former agriculturalist, I can see without equivocation that any of Colorado aside from a few places on the Eastern Plains is a poor place to expect to make a living by buying an existing agricultural property. Period. The people who do farm and ranch successfully either a) married or inherited the land or b) don't care whether they make a profit or not (i.e. they use the farm or ranch as a playtoy or tax dodge).

Successful Colorado ranches and farms are large and capital-intensive. Livestock grazing operations can require hundreds to thousands of acres of deeded land, with access via grazing leases to thousands more acres of BLM and/or Forest Service lands to be economically viable. Aside from specialty farming operations like vineyards (that are HUGELY capital-intensive), crop farming in Colorado can require hundreds of acres to be viable. Over much of the state, the market value of agricultural land exceeds what it can produce in income. The land is priced based on speculative future non-agricultural development. Colorado is also no place to be involved in agriculture if one does not fully understand water law. Colorado water rights are NOT riparian--that is, running with the land. The water rights are separate, with water rights law being complex. There is an whole thread on this forum, "Colorado and the West is Running Out of Water" devoted to this topic alone.

Quite bluntly, decades of excessive population growth, water grabs, and other nonsense have made Colorado--very unfortunately--pretty unfriendly to agriculture--especially to smaller, undercapitalized operations. I say this with great sorrow as I used to be in farming and ranching. Like a lot of Coloradans--and ones with much longer and greater experience in agriculture than a transplanted newbie--I figured out that agriculture, especially in the part of the state in which I ran a livestock operation, did not have a rosy future--and I was right.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:42 PM
 
2,798 posts, read 3,507,228 times
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As others above above have said it is hard to give any suggestions without knowing how much you have to buy or lease land and use as operating capital. Have to really find the right niche in the market and right fit for your skills & taste and become one of the best at it.

If you don't have much of a grubstake to work with you might need to a) either wait and raise it or b) look for a hired hand position (very very hard without substantial experience) or move to a Colorado city for awhile and then try do a or b later.

Or, you could look into what is happening here.
Meadowlark cooperative - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Colorado cooperative offering 'free' land - KDVR (http://www.kdvr.com/news/kdvr-meadowlark-land-txt,0,795757.story - broken link)
http://themeadowlarkherald.com/archives__current_edition (broken link)
(check out the archives, blog, etc.)
Meadowlark cooperative contact information - KDVR (http://www.kdvr.com/news/seenontv/kdvr-meadowlark-txt,0,5650160.story - broken link)

They are about 1 hour from Denver, NW of Limon on I-70. Someone could commute into Denver for a job to provide the primary income (or maybe there might be something in Limon) while trying to get some income producing agricultural effort going or doing it mostly for the lifestyle & kids education.


Or read some of the posts by SunSpirit and perhaps try to chat with him to gain from his in-depth knowledge of growing crops & raising animals in the region.

Or read this La Junta?
and talk to la junta econ devel.

Or read this Seeking a rural, SE ranch town w/grasslands & mesas?
and talk to bovinedivine

Or search the forum and find others who are in rural Colorado and / or are working the land.

Last edited by NW Crow; 11-08-2011 at 10:03 PM..
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Old 11-09-2011, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,932 posts, read 8,951,822 times
Reputation: 2474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckelew12 View Post
My husband and I are really thinking about moving our family out to the colorado area, we love the out doors and want to raise the kids on a farm, although we only have little hands on knowledge from living in both Alabama and Missouri and mostly with cattle and smaller animals.
Regarding agriculture and ranching in Colorado, you basically have to be aware that there's two distinct climate zones: the mountains and the lower-elevation flatland areas.

Mountains includes anything in or near enough to mountains to experience the weather and the water accumulation. This includes valleys, foothills. almost anything above 8,000 feet.

The lowland areas are the deserts and plains which have a different weather pattern and whose water exists as either the isolated river or man made reservoirs.

Since Colorado is an arid state, much importance is placed on water rights. So the first things you will need to do is decide in which of the two zones you want to live, and what the state water rights will let you do there.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:20 PM
 
Location: 80904 West siiiiiide!
2,867 posts, read 7,121,409 times
Reputation: 1546
From what I've seen, the ranchers in the high country do not have it easy. Like Jazz said, most of those ranches have been in their families for over 100 years, or they married into it.
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:23 AM
 
Location: N. Colorado
345 posts, read 761,951 times
Reputation: 284
Well if you are looking and thinking along smaller lines then the big operations I can tell you Mike is right head to Missouri. Land, housing and taxes are cheaper and they have less restrictions as to what you can and cannot do.

I mainly have dairy goats and poultry, did the alpaca thing and no thanks never again.

Water if you have a well and it is not full-use you have to haul water in for your animals. Mine is full use, I am so glad about that.

The growing season is short here and you end up having to buy hay for 6 months min out of the year. The prices this year due to the Texas drought have almost doubled. It is really hurting me this year.

You cannot sell milk off your place unless you are in a diary share program and must follow their guide lines. There are more rules of course but that is one that pertains to me and my small dairy.

Predators, if you live down here then you have coyotes and lots of them if they find you are a good and quick food source.
If you live in the mountains you have bears and mountain lions. So you must invest in good fencing or good protection. I went with Livestock Guardian Dogs. I was losing animals to coyotes and I also had a couple of baby goats stolen by humans. Field fence deters neither. But I found that a pair of dogs each over 125 lbs are a good deterrent for both

Land prices are cheap to the South and far out East due to their lack of access for entertainment, close to schools, large towns and etc. Those areas come with their own issues, such as getting hay or having it delivered to you, if your well dries up and you have to haul water in and etc.

If I had to do it over again I would not have picked a semi-arid state to have livestock in, hindsght and all that
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,932 posts, read 8,951,822 times
Reputation: 2474
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanek9freak View Post
From what I've seen, the ranchers in the high country do not have it easy. Like Jazz said, most of those ranches have been in their families for over 100 years, or they married into it.
Do ranchers anywhere have it easy?
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