Shelby Loeffelholz will openly admit that gaining entrance into the operator level of agriculture is not an easy task.
The capitol, skill, knowledge and relationships needed to attain that level of success seem almost unattainable.
However, Loeffelholz will also say if a person willing to put in the hours, build the relationship, and jump at the opportunity, anybody can break into the industry.
That is exactly Loeffelholz is doing with a leased 1,000-head feedlot near Bertrand.
Loeffelholz started by helping the previous tenants background heifers in the facility. When they upgraded to a larger facility, Loeffelholz saw her chance to enter into the cattle feeding industry.
Because she grew up in the area, she knew a lot of farmers with readily-available commodities to sell along with several finish yards that might take the chance on her to start cattle for them. So, Loeffelholz started planning and figuring out how to make it all work.
“You don’t just dive off into an operation like this, but after significant planning you have to make the leap and hope you can roll with the punches that come,” she said in an exclusive interview with the Rural Radio Network.
Despite the challenges that have come with starting her own feedlot, Loeffelholz feels like she is making a difference in her community. She has created another end user for locally-grown commodities, as well as another outlet for locally- and regionally-raised feeder cattle.
Loeffelholz said continuing to grow her community is in her long-term planning and goals for her feedlot. She would like to expand and bring on an additional employee, thus creating another job in the area.
Family is also important to Loeffelholz, and that’s why she wanted to find opportunity in central Nebraska to be close to her family. Both her dad and brother are involved in their own farming and cow-calf operations, but they can be found helping process cattle or other chores when time allows. The reverse is true as well when they need help on their own operations.
Learn more about Loeffelholz and her journey in the latest edition of Friday Feeders.