How Close Should You Be to Leased Land? 

I’ve found myself thinking about where I want to lease land now that I’m back in the United States. Ideally, I’d like to lease land that is 5 minutes away. That would be great! However, most of the land around the area where my wife and I want to live is in crop production. This means we need to do one of two things in order to lease grazeable land. Although, there are probably hundreds of options!

Option 1: Move close to where we want to lease land. This would mean moving away from family, which for us, is very important.

Option 2: Commute. Lots of people drive to work everyday. Why not drive to move livestock?

Everyone has their ideal grazing/farming operation in their head. Most of the time, it’s not possible to live out that dream right away. We have to manage for what we want with the resources we have right now.

It’s important to think about possible solutions to problems. One of our major problems right now is finding land to lease. The next problem is finding land that the land owner is not only willing to lease but one that has water for the livestock or water can be put in cheaply.

Given that we live in Colorado, finding land with water is not always easy. You guys/gals in the Midwest have it so good you don’t even know! However, I’m not going to just give up because it’s hard to find land that has water. Ian taught me that there is always a solution to your problem. You just need to think about it. Please see my post about thinking. 

What I’m trying to say is that you need to be flexible. For me, maybe that means that I need to drive 30-60 minutes to the land I’m leasing. Maybe this means I don’t have a pickup truck and instead I drive a fuel efficient vehicle to my land. Once I get there maybe I walk to put up temporary fences, or ride a horse or an ATV. Or maybe I’ll use Batt-Latches, which automatically open up gates at a predetermined time, to move my livestock everyday but I only go out there once a week.

The options are only limited to your creativity. When someone tells you that “You need to do X, Y and then Z in order to be successful in the farming/ranching business!” You should walk away, quickly.

There are a lot of big names out there that think you should be farming their way. Their way works for them, but it might not work for you. You need to find solutions to problems that make you happy and able to do what it is you want to do. For example one farmer is a fan of “Mobile Infrastructure.” I say, how about no infrastructure?

Sit down, think (with no distractions, at all) and the solution will come to you.

I’m curious to know about your grazing/farming operations and how long it takes you to get to your land, how long you spend there and how often you visit. If you don’t have land yet, what are your answers to the above questions?

Chris Stelzer

Chris Stelzer is a published Author, founder of Agricultural Insights and creator of many resources that help family farmers and ranchers grow their businesses. His flagship courses are the Grazing Mastery Program and The Farm Marketing Mastery Program. 

Chris Stelzer

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