Please read ad all the way through before you message me with questions I’ve already answered. Nothing like being knee deep in pig mud or half way through milking cows and having someone ask you an unnecessary question, then get offended because you tell them the information they seek is plainly stated in the written ad.
Don’t tell me you want the animal but it is just too far to drive to come view or pick her up. I’m in SC and have driven to W. Virginia, Kentucky and Michigan to pick up livestock I wanted. Either she’s worth the drive to you, or not. I don’t care either way. I will not meet you half way, bring her to your house or do a trailer to trailer transfer and risk her life or someone else’s in order to sell her to someone who can’t be bothered to come see her in person or make arrangements for her secure transport.
Do not show up on my farm with a makeshift pen or hand made trailer to transport my livestock. I will not load my animal in a situation I feel is unsafe or a detriment to their health. I care way more about my animals than I do a sale or your feelings. If you’re buying a cow from me, you will need an enclosed livestock trailer. Period.
Expect to talk to me on the phone if you are sincere about buying. I do not make an agreement to sell without having a conversation with a buyer.
Be prepared to answer questions about your farm/homestead and your lifestyle. I will not sell an animal to a buyer that is wrong for her. If you are offended by my due diligence in placing my livestock, you should not bother to inquire.
Please have some basic knowledge of the type of livestock you wish to purchase and keep. Don’t call me about my animal expecting me to tell you what her basic needs are as a species and for the love of bovines, don’t try to buy an animal that you know nothing about ! Do some research. Talk to people who keep the same livestock. Read some books. If you show up at my farm and ask when you can start milking my 7 month old heifer, I’ll politely show you to the gates. ( Yes, that happened )
Don’t ask me to take significantly less for my animal based on your desires, lack, financial strains, intentions ( pet V dairy girl )… a farmer bases her pricing on multiple factors including stature, type, breed, desirability, market averages, age, production capability, lineage etc…Frankly, if you cannot afford to buy the cow, you won’t be able to afford to keep her properly. I have never closed a deal that began with a buyer stating ‘ I think you should take less because ‘. We raise the animal, provide the proper medical attention and care, feed the animal etc..we have an investment in her. We know what we need to get back and what she is worth on the market.
Respect my time limits. I will offer a firm time and state how much time I have for you to come to view and ask questions. If you and I have agreed to meet at 10:00 and you show up at 10:38 without having called me ahead of time, you’ll likely find me doing other things and the gates locked. Depending on my schedule that day, I may or may not allow you in. Understand that I have a tight schedule and ‘ free time’ is not something most farmers enjoy. Aside from our farming duties, many of us have family obligations and jobs away from the home. Don’t overstay your welcome, make excessive demands of our availability, be late for our appointment, or insult us by wasting our time when you have no real intention to buy.
Finally, and maybe this is just me ? Don’t feel the need to tell us about the minutia of your private life. We need and want to know about your farm, living situation for the animal, intentions for her ( pet, dairy, beef, etc). We do not need to know about your personal struggles, issues with your extended family, the bunion on your left foot that oozes, your bad back, etc.. Trust me, we’re farmers, we get it and most of us have such issues. Again, this goes to respect of our time.
A good basic set of rules for inquiring about and /or purchasing livestock is :
Keep it professional : Know your basic subject, don’t get personal, respect boundaries and time limits.
It’s business: I don’t get offended by reasonable offers and you shouldn’t be offended if I refuse them.
My animal comes first: one of the reasons you likely have interest in my animal is your knowledge that I give the utmost care and consideration to her. If I tell you your situation isn’t right for that particular animal, respect that I know what I’m talking about.