Beef Farm Business Summary: Northeast Beef Cow-Calf Farm Business Summary 1988
Nowak Rasmussen, Caroline; Smith, Stuart F.; Fox, Danny G.
In a six state survey conducted in 1976, Northeast beef producers attributed their selection of a beef enterprise to a desire to utilize existing land and buildings, increase income, keep the land open, use family labor, and take advantage of tax management opportunities 1 • The producers surveyed had a mixture of goals and objectives, the profit motive was not necessarily their top priority. We assume the motives on these twenty-three farms are similar. The negative average cash flow and low cash farm income combined with the favorable equity position due in part to appreciation, indicate that many of the producers are using the beef farm as a "forced savings account". By purchasing farm machinery, cattle and especially land they are making a long term investment. This is not to suggest that all beef farmers are real estate speculators. As a result of speaking casually with many of the cooperators, the authors have concluded that for many the primary desire is to live in the country and have a wholesome life style. Since a beef cattle enterprise makes good use of existing land and buildings and family labor while being a farm enterprise that is compatible with off farm work, it is a common choice.
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Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University