Hello folks, this is my first thread! DH and I live in New York City now
but in July this year we're quitting our jobs and moving to South Dakota to take over our family's ranch property out in the very western part of the state.
Realistically, we have financial obligations which mean that at least one of us and probably both of us will need to have town jobs for at least a little while but we want to hit the ground running and start putting this long neglected 400 acres to work!
Our neighbor has been running about 50 cow-calf pairs on the land long as I remember, but clearly we have more space than we know what to do with. I don't think the land is in super shape though; I am no horticulturist, but I can recognize a lot of weeds out there.
I think my biggest concern is getting the pasture areas into good shape. I'd love to use a rotational process combining chickens and cows and probably pigs around the wooded edges, but I worry a bit about taking on more than we can chew too early on. And will the livestock avoid the weeds? I've identified leafy spurge, sowthistle, spotted knapwood, tons of thistles, and mullein so far, and these are all over pastures that cows have been grazing for years. But I don't think our neighbors are quite as diligent with minding their cows as I'd like to be.
Any advice on how to start slow and ramp up would be much appreciated!