By Candy Moore, Idaho Public Affairs/Outreach Coordinator
Shane Kerner applied for her first USDA Farm Service Agency Rural Youth Loan at age 14. Now, at age 20, she not only reached adulthood, but financial independence to grow what was once a 4-H project, into a thriving cattle operation.
“I never thought I would get as far as I am today with my cattle,” said Shane. “It is truly a privilege to have the opportunity to start at a young age and see the growth of your animals from seed stock to a small commercial herd, right outside your door.”
Shane refers to her operation as a passion for finding the highest genetics for breeding Angus cattle. With the proceeds from the sale of seven grass-fed calves she purchased with the youth loan, she bought more cattle, including her best show heifer. This started the foundation for growing a registered Angus herd.
“To be successful in the cattle business, I must carefully breed the highest genetics to result in powerful offspring. That guarantees improvement in the commercial herd and builds reputation in the registered business as well,” said Shane.
Growing her business also involved expanding her herd, which she did by graduating from the youth loan to an FSA Microloan that she was able to secure on her own merits.
“Being able to receive the microloan on my own really made me step back and realize how much I have gained from this experience, personally and professionally,” said Shane.
Shane sells to ranchers mostly in her area and she has built a good reputation with her registered Angus herd, which helps her get a higher price for the bulls. Even her father purchased a yearling for his own commercial stock because he liked the lines and physical features.
Growing up on her parent’s ranch in Weiser, Idaho, has increased her knowledge of the industry and taught Shane the cattle business from the ground up. By the age of 8 she started checking and gathering cattle with her father and eventually began riding pens not long after.
It was that knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit that got Shane elected to the National Junior Angus Association Board of Directors, where she will help other young people who share her passion for Angus cattle. She also plans on learning more about business and marketing when she attends Kansas State University.
“FSA is very pleased that we were able to provide a solid beginning to a great future career for Shane,” said Kim Royer, Washington County FSA Executive Director.
Her success and positive experiences with FSA led Shane’s younger sister Dana and her little brother Sam, to apply for FSA Youth Loans as well.
“The Farm Loan staff made the experience an extremely positive one for the kids,” said Shane’s mother Julie Kerner. “Staff members were informative and helped each one understand how the entire process worked.”