How I Lost a 100 Acre Lease and 20 Cows

I don’t share this story often because… well, it’s embarrassing for me.  But, I feel that it can help you, so I’ll let myself be uncomfortable for a while.

This story takes place in 2010, I had just graduated college and didn’t like my first “real job.”

I had just read all of these amazing books on farming and ranching and I wanted to start grazing livestock NOW!

To make a long story short, that’s what I did. I leased 100 acres of pasture and found a group of 20 cows that I could custom graze.

Things were looking up. I was already in the ranching business. I thought to myself “That was easy!”

Of course, things are never that easy.

The 100 acres only had perimeter barbed-wire fencing. So, I was controlling the grazing of the cows using portable electric fencing. It was great…. at first.

After a few days, the cows would not stay behind the portable electric fencing I had setup. What gives? I thought to myself.

After increasing the voltage on the electric fence from 2,000 volts to 5,000 volts, I felt confident this should keep them in.

Well, that was not the case! 1 cow got out, ran 3 miles away, and was now in a herd with 50 cows. The other 19 cows were spread out over the 100 acres. I forgot to mention, the landowner also lived on the property. So, the cows decided to pay his front lawn a visit. In fact, they went everywhere… backyard, patio, the garage…

Obviously, the landowner did not like the fact that I was unable to control the grazing behavior of the cows! He kicked me off the property, told me to get lost.

I was devastated.

Now I had to find a place to take the 20 cows I was custom grazing. It was a HUGE mess and most of it could have been prevented had I just taken the time to properly learn how to use portable electric fencing. If I managed the cattle properly, there would have been no issues!

Because of this expensive and stressful experience, which, to this day still makes my wife shake her head in annoyance when this story comes up, I created a guide on how to correctly use portable electric fencing. It’s called The Portable Electric Fencing Guide.

In this 2 hour DVD I go through the very basics of portable electric fencing like how to select the right equipment and basic fence setup, all the way up to more advanced techniques like creating corners, stringing multiple lines together that go in different directions, how to orientate posts based on directional pressure, fencing creeks, rivers and streams and how to quickly take down the fence so you can enjoy the rest of your day. There’s a lot more too.

I wish someone would have made a DVD like this when I first started. I would have paid out the nose for it, because it cost me a lot of money, time and stress. Click here to find out how you can get your copy of The Portable Electric Fencing Guide.

Until next time,


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  • Mike K

    Looking forward to it Chris. Also looking forward to any other in depth guides to farming basics you put out.