What To Do With $600,000

I was trying to imagine what I’d do for our farm with six hundred thousand dollars. I could pay bills, make repairs, build a barn, or get new tractors and equipment. We could even get a milking robot, or perhaps invest in our own milk plant. And I should obviously make sure I do something for my wife, too. 

Short of winning the lottery, I don’t expect to have that kind of money thrust into my hands anytime soon. Perhaps I’m going about it all wrong, though. Perhaps instead of winning it, or earning it, I should just ask folks to hand me over some greenbacks for nothing.

The Gentle Barn is doing just that. Their lease has expired and they need $600,000 donated to their Go Fund Me to move to a new location. Also, if you want to contribute to this farm sanctuary’s animal feed fund, they’d appreciate it, too, because these animals are no longer production animals; no milk, no meat, no eggs.

What if tomorrow we stopped selling milk from our farm? What if we decided that we’d feed the cows and do nothing else and take donations to pay for it all? I think we’d be called charlatans. Actually, we’d be called something else because no one says charlatan out loud. If hear you someone say it, you should probably run.

I can imagine talking to one of our financial advisors.

“So, your business model is based purely on solicitations?”

“Exactly,” I’d reply. “And how many cows can I put you down to sponsor this year?”

There’s nothing theoretical about this, however, as many dairy farmers received a letter saying they no longer have a milk market. Families are selling their herds because it is impractical to keep them without selling milk. How do you raise a family, pay your debts, or simply be financially stable without income? The reality of watching your liviliehood, and your dreams, slip through your fingers is grim.

How would I spend $600,000 on our farm? Maybe the answer of spending the money is easy, but spending it wisely, that’s the hard part.

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