Britni Schmaltz

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Britni and her high school sweetheart Eric have built a life together in the cattle business.

Britni and Eric went to prom together and dated during high school. Prior to graduation Eric bought into his family’s custom harvesting operation. This was a great gig at first but it eventually caused him to spend more time away from his family than he (and Britni) wanted. So Eric decided to sell out.

The couple bought a run-down farm house and got married. Down from their new house was a small, run down feedlot that had not had cattle in it for years. Eric made the widow who owned the feedlot an offer. She ended up taking the offer and two dove head first into the cattle business.

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Since starting, the couple’s operation has grown dramatically. Not only in terms of head of cattle and machinery, but the Britni and Eric have grown their family as well. They now have three children aka three ranch hands. 🙂 Reaching this stage in life has not been easy. Britni says:

“We’ve inherited nothing. Nothing was given to us. Long hours, dedication & living on love got us to where we are now.”

This hard work has not gone with out an extreme sense of accomplishment for these two. Britni and Eric now own and operate their own feedlot and cow/calf operation. They also take in cattle during the winter to run on corn stalks as well.

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I was very eager to ask Britni, a first generation rancher, what advice she would give to a young person wanting to get their feet wet in agriculture. Here is what she has to say:

“There is no better way of life. If long days, hard work, blood, sweat & tears don’t appeal to you…then the ag life wouldn’t either.  If you are willing to be very disciplined with your time and finances, then you can most definitely build a successful operation from the ground up. It doesn’t happen over night. It takes years of slow progress to establish something big. Have more than one source of income and never stop learning.”

I love her answer and I know that her advice of having more than one source of income can be very beneficial for ranching families. The second income can definitely provide a safety net against hard times and volatile markets.

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Britni has two role models in her life. The first is being her hard working, self-less grandfather. The second is her husband. To say she is proud of Eric is an understatement. She so happy he chased his dream. She says that Eric possesses some of the most needed traits to be a successful rancher: gentleness, patience, and honesty.

When Britni is not chasing cows and kids; she can be found sipping coffee with Eric, reading a good book, cooking a good meal, running a marathon, or having a glass of wine with good gal-friends.

I owe a huge thank you to Britni for agreeing to be on my blog and providing me with the awesome images to accompany the post.
Thank you!
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