Customer
Ownership

As a financial cooperative, our
customer-owners have a voice
in what we do. Explore profiles
of farmers and ranchers who
make up the Association.

Josh & Raenell

Livestock Producers
Hulett, WY
Customer since 2016

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How we got started in agriculture

Raenell: We’re currently on the ranch where I grew up, but we both grew up raising sheep. When I was a kid, I won a flock from the Wyoming Wool Growers Association that was sponsored by the Rambouillet Breeders Association. The flock included five registered sheep, some were yearlings and some were lambs. That’s what got me started in the sheep industry. Then about ten years ago we bought our first ten head of bred heifers, which started us in the cattle industry.

Our relationship with Farm Credit

Raenell: After we bought our first ten head of bred heifers, my dad started transitioning the ranch over to us. At that point we were trying to figure out how we would properly stock it, and that’s when we realized we needed a little bit of financing assistance. We got our first livestock loan through Farm Credit and started building a relationship with them. We talk to our loan officer all the time. He even comes out to our ranch and sits at the kitchen table with us to talk about our vision, our goals, updates our balance sheet and helps us to develop a strategic plan based on our goals and vision.

How our operation has changed

Josh: Thanks to a sponsorship from Farm Credit we had the opportunity to attend Ranching for Profit School. We were able to break down our numbers and our enterprises and determine what was most profitable and least profitable. Based on what we learned we decided to cut out our haying enterprise and replace that with a cover crop program. Now our model is striving to focus on healthy soils so we can have more stock on the same amount of land.

Our greatest challenge

Raenell: One of our biggest challenges is not going back to our old ways. Sometimes in the process of looking for new, profitable opportunities it’s easy to slide back into our old habits and ways, because we know we’ve done it that way before and it feels safe and familiar. It can also be challenging to remind ourselves that this isn’t just a lifestyle, it’s also a business. We are business partners and we have to keep that mindset when we make decisions.

Our favorite thing about ranching

Josh: My favorite thing about ranching is the fact that I’m doing something that’s very rewarding, not only for the land and making a business out of it, but for my kids. It’s exciting that it’s our time to figure out how to keep the vision of our family ranch going for the next generation.

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FCSAmerica serves farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. For inquiries outside this geography, use the Farm Credit Association Locator  to contact your local office.