My name is Dallas France and I’m a grass farmer. Mason by trade, I’m transitioning from full time construction work to
full time ranching. I’m married and live in Keizer, where my wife and I homestead and raise ducks, chickens, junglefowl,
Grazing cattle and sheep is my primary focus for leasing land. I need room to grow my herd/flock and make it viable
enough to support a growing family, and I don’t have the space at my property in Keizer for large ruminants. Stocker calves,
bottle calves, and hair sheep would be my first choice for livestock options. Eventually I plan on raising enough stocker calves to
sell directly to feedlots at 50,000 lb loads.
During the next month I will be spending my time speaking to land owners who wish to lease their land. Once I find
the right land owner I will be ready to move forward within a short time frame. Everything depends on the land, distance
and the leaser.
The best opportunities lay within a 45 minute drive from home (Keizer). If the right opportunity presented itself, however, I
could make a further daily commute to the farm. Although my first choice would be to graze cattle and sheep, I’m also interested
in browsing meat goats in forested land with heavy brush.
Working with animals brings me peace in a way that Masonry or any job could never achieve. Raising livestock is rewarding
and practical. People need to eat, and I want to give the food they eat a happy, healthy life.
Ranching is a tough business to turn a profit in without being clever and resourceful. Using a model based on the teachings of
Greg Judy, Allan Nation, Jim Gerrish and Joel Salatin, I plan to implement a Management Intensive Grazing system to raise
beef and lamb. Abandoning tractors, bailers, and other heavy equipment, I will rely on the animals to perform what God made
them to do – eat grass on their own and turn it into rich protein! Neglecting expensive equipment will allow me to invest in more
animal units, and avoid being straddled with debt.
Three fundamental principles I will follow on the ranch:
1. Work with God’s design for ruminants to consume forage on their own without needing to feed them expensive feed.
2. Move the animals daily. Management Intensive Grazing combined with mob grazing keeps the animals healthy while allowing
the soil to burst with microbial life for rapid regrowth of the forage the animals need to eat.
3. Never invest in things that rust.
The fewer improvements on the property the better.
I raise poultry for my homestead and sell their off-spring to local customers in the Salem/Keizer area.
Graze livestock full time.
Buy land with the profits from the livestock I raise on leased land.
I live in Keizer and if the right opportunity presented itself, my wife and I could move onto leased land.
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