Continuing a Family Tradition
Cheyenne Weston rejoins four-generations of cattle producers.
After getting her degree and working in Rapid City for several years, Cheyenne Weston moved back to her home on the Rosebud Reservation in 2019. Last year, she decided it was time to get back into the family cattle business, making it a four-generation operation with her grandma, dad, and son.
Although she had utilized Farm Service Agency (FSA) and other types of loans in the past, she says, "I really wanted to get away from that to go more towards Native money."
Cheyenne found out about Akiptan through a friend and put in an application to finance the start-up of her cattle operation. In addition, she took advantage of two classes to build her skills in ag accounting and herd management. Within a couple of months, she closed her loan in March 2020.
She says of the experience with Akiptan, "They were really easy to work with."
In addition to an operating loan, Cheyenne financed the purchase of 52 head of cows and two bulls. In the mix, she has 25 head of registered Charolais and Red Angus. Now, when she's not working a 56-hour shift as an EMT, you can usually find her with the cows.
Cheyenne chose to utilize Akiptan’s investment option for her purchase, which provides more patient capital. For the first five years of her repayment term, she will pay interest only and focus on growing her herd by keeping about 15 head of heifers each year.
She says, "It provides opportunity and makes it so I won't get upside down on my loan."
In the coming years, Cheyenne would like to continue growing her registered herd. With a forward-thinking mindset, she is also looking into some possibilities with feed lots.
"Whatever it is, I would like it to be here in this area. Hopefully, someday opportunities like that arise," she says of her future growth projections.