Agriculture is the oldest industry that human ever started. Depending on what one defines or imagines, from "back in good old days", all trades have been done with verbal promises and agreements. This has been based on FAITH & TRUST, which have to be true in this era and in any other industry.
However, there's always miscommunication and misunderstanding. Yet those are rather pretty, compared to when deals/promises/agreements are broken due to greed, whim, and that sort of negative thoughts that only human can posses. Unfortunately I have seen & heard lots of those dark-side stories in this so-called "breeding industry". This is one of primary reasons that I decided to be independent and to establish my own breeding operation.
I still agree to and conduct jobs based on verbal agreements and promises. Again, I wish everything would be done in that manner and completed based on faith and trust. However even during my first year of operation, I had to face some difficulty and unbelievable treatment from a (formerly?) reliable source.
In my other profession, fly-fishing guide, booking & cancelling guided trip policies are very strict and professional to protect both guides and clients. Applying that experience and knowledge to my breeding operation too, I have written up a following contract/agreement sheet.
From now on I will present when I'm contacted by "industry personnel" such as semen company, semen salesman, breeders like myself, and such for Contractor/Day-Worker type offers. I refuse to conduct businesses until this sheet is filled by and 50% deposit is paid by these people. Do you think I'm the one who is greedy to secure money first? I AM NOT!! This is to protect my and my customers' schedules first of all. Besides, in typical spring calving cow-calf operations in Montana and surrounding States, breeding season is usually set from April to June. Every rancher and breeder concentrate and work hard during those months. If one plan or breeder is not available, rancher needs to find another breeder available. Vise versa. Breeder wants to fill his schedule as many as he can without double-booking. If one breeding job is cancelled with a day- or a week-notice, the breeder loses his paycheck till next year!!
I'm true and honest when I book breeding schedules. Regardless of sizes of operations, I book people/ranch/farm who call me first. Even if I'm offered bigger deals on the same period later on, I will explain my calendar to my next potential customer and hopefully to settle on other schedules. If not, I even refer other breeders who may be available. I NEVER BETRAY customers who have booked me in advance!!...........but then again, sometimes this true and honest attitude of mine are abused by some crooks so I have to act to protect myself and my own reputation.
Ranchers, farmers, and other customers of mine, please don't be intimidated by this sudden announcement. For my customers who have had business with me before and treated me nicely, our old "verbal agreements & promises" are still effective. Unfortunately not everyone who is involved in cattle breeding is not as honest as you or I..............