Cattle Ranchers are Losing Thousands of Dollars and Facing Closure
ELLENSBURG, Wash.- It's a tough time to be in the cattle business. Ranchers are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The cattle ranch industry is cyclical, with demand and supply constantly changing. The past year has been particularly hard for the owners of Venture Farms in Kittitas County.
"It's everyday that we're losing money from not being able to sell the product we have and make a profit on it," said Owner Harland Radomske.
Radomske and his wife, Jody Radomske, say the cost of their cattle have stayed the same for 20 years. Meanwhile, the cost of vaccinations and up keep have doubled. And necessities like water are adding up. This bill alone costs thousands of dollars every month. With no profits coming in, surviving is becoming harder.
"We're going backwards and we're going backwards fast to the point that we might just have to shut down," said Harland Radomske.
Jody Radomske and her husband say they've considered selling off their 1,000 acre land, piece by piece, and selling off some of their cattle. Even this is a challenge now.
"Worrisome because when you see the figures going down every year and you wonder how you're going to hang on," said Jody Radomske.
At this point, Jody and Harland have 1,000 cattle left, the minimum amount to keep their land fertilize and the grass grazed, but they're preparing for the worse.
If business doesn't pick up soon, their ranch will shut down.