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4-Hers Spending Seven Months in the Cattle Business

Pasture to Packer Lone Star Ag Credit

Seven lucky students are gaining valuable hands-on cattle-ranching experience through a program supported by several local organizations and businesses.

Offered through the Erath County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Erath County 4-H, the Erath County Pasture to Packer Program lasts for seven months and teaches youth:

  • economic and production facets of an agricultural project
  • the loan application process
  • marketing strategies

Many community partners are providing financial assistance or expertise to the program. Offering financial support are Farm Bureau, Love Oil, Larry Stewart, Dean Taylor, Evening Lions Club, Gorman Milling, Optimist Club and TexStar Ford. Providing expertise are Dr. Jeff Gaiser, DVM of Animal Health and Medical Center; Dr. Jason Johnson, associate professor and Extension economist with Texas A&M University and Texas AgriLife Extension; Lone Star Ag Credit; Merck Animal Health; and Tarleton State University (TSU).

For example, Lone Star Ag Credit helped the students apply for loans to purchase animals and feed, while TSU's Meat Department will harvest the students' cattle at the end of the 150-day feeding period.

After the cattle are harvested, the participants will learn about carcass quality, grading and cuts of meat. They will then be responsible for marketing their carcass and repaying their loan from the proceeds.

"Through Pasture to Packer, we can help students learn lifelong lessons in financing their agricultural endeavors," said Gerrit Schouten, Lone Star Ag Credit's Stephenville office president. "When these future ag operators finish the program, they will know how to take out a loan, balance books and research current market prices — and do a projected income statement and a comprehensive breakeven analysis. We hope these lessons will serve them well in life."

Lone Star Ag Credit is a lending cooperative that finances rural land, rural homes, agribusinesses, livestock, agricultural equipment and operating expenses.

The Pasture to Packer Program will conclude next spring.

Pasture to Packer Lone Star Ag Credit

Published October 2, 2017