Friday, January 7, 2011
Snapshot of our farm
I have one full time employee, Kenny, besides myself. We do hire some additional summer help, mostly high school boys, and some harvest help in the fall. For several years now the summer help has mostly been Kenny's sons. That is about over as the youngest graduated from high school last May and will be attending tech school next fall to become an electrical lineman. This will probably be his last year. I don't know yet whether either of my daughters will be working here this summer. They have both helped over the years, but usually are too busy to count on for regular work.
With a name like Batie Cattle Co. you would assume that cattle would be a large part of our operation. It used to be. When we formed the corporation 26 years ago, all of our income was from feeding cattle. All of our crops were fed to the cattle and we bought more corn besides. We quit feeding cattle in 2003 for several reasons, the main one being we were losing too much money. We also knew that if we were going to continue we were going to need to install expensive waste containment systems on the feedlot. It was a tough decision to make and even tougher to tell my Dad, but it was the right decision for us.
Instead we added some farmground and concentrated our efforts on raising the best crops we could. Since then we have added a sideline business of trucking breeding gilts for a local veterinarian. This started when we were looking at moving from straight trucks to a semi. Our vet asked us to look at buying one we would take over the road for him. We did and now we put 20,000 to 30,000 miles a year on our semi hauling hogs.