Sara Shivers- Mom, Wife, Rancher, Business Owner
Keep reading to see how Sara and her family are keeping their roots planted at the family ranch going, all while taking a leap of faith and starting a second beef business.
For Sara, timing has been everything in her life. Sara attended graduate school in Texas where she fatefully met and married her now husband, Jay. The couple lived in Texas for almost 8 years. But Sara felt she was being called to return to the family ranch in the Flint Hills of Kansas. However, it was important for her husband to land a job in his respective industry, city planning.
The stars aligned one day and a position opened up in Jay’s line of work 45 minutes from the ranch. Jay applied and landed the job! Which meant selling and packing up the house in Texas. Buying a house in Kansas and moving with a 2 month old. This exciting life change all happened in a matter of 5 weeks.
Since their move back to Kansas, the family has also built and moved into a new house on the ranch. Sara has become an business partner in the ranch with her dad. Sara’s dad also happens to be her biggest role model in life. She says he is one of the hardest working and humble people she knows.
The two run Angus cows and calve half the cows in the spring and half in the fall. (talk about busy!) Sara is proud to be a rancher and claims she got the better end of the deal, since Jay has the “town job”. Since moving back home, Sara has implemented more technology into the operation. She says that she has brought into play a much better method of record keeping.
Sara know the importance of agvocating and she has a strong desire to connect people to their food. She strives to help the general public know and understand where their food comes from. In order to provide high quality beef and answer any questions consumers have about beef, Sara and Jay started a direct beef sales business called Salt Creek Meats. Check out the “pasture-to-plate” business here.
Sara and her family are deeply connected and involved in agriculture. But Sara knows that there are still some challenges facing the industry. Sara shares her take of some of the issues:
“The increasing age of the average rancher/farmer. Most ranchers/farmers are from the Baby Boomer generation. As that generation starts to pass on (because you know they’ll never retire), there will be a lot of production to be picked up by younger ranchers/farmers. This is going to require us to work smarter and harder to pick up the slack. Another challenge is the rising cost of agriculture land. Most of the the ranch land being sold around here is going to out of state buyers who are looking for an investment. This drives up prices and makes it almost impossible to start or expand an operation. “