Veteran retires to raise cattle
Growing up on a dairy and beef farm, Pete Berscheit of Grey Eagle knew from a young age that he wanted to have his own beef herd one day.
“I just really liked beef cows,” he said.
He joined the Army when he was 17. About the same time, his dad, Lester, bought a farm south of Grey Eagle for $1,000 an acre.
Berscheit said the plan was to save up enough money during his Army years to buy his own farm. When he departed from the Army, he asked his dad to help him find a farm.
“I wanted to come home and start farming,” he said.
The two found a 160-acre farm and since it was during the 1980s farm crisis, the asking price was only $250 an acre.
“Even though it was a good price, it didn’t seem like a good time to go into farming. Guys who had been farming for 30 years were going broke,” Berscheit said.
He tried to figure out how the farm would pay for itself, but through research discovered it didn’t matter what he would grow. Because of the farm crisis, there was not a single buck to be made.
“Everything was just so tough, so I decided not to buy it even though as cheap as it was,” he said.
Berscheit returned to what he knew — the Army. When he was stationed at Fort Carson near Colorado Springs, Colo., he helped a ranch owner tend to his herd of antelopes on the weekends.
“I found it when I was looking for a place to hunt antelopes,” he said.
Even though helping out on a ranch wasn’t the same as owning his own farm and herd, it was a way to be closer to his dream. However, that too ended when he received orders to leave Fort Carson to serve at Fort Hood in Texas.
It was in Texas Bersheit met his wife, Rosemary. She was teaching a first grade class. read more…