You bought a cow at auction a couple of years ago that, unbeknownst to you, was infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy—also known as Mad Cow Disease. Your entire herd goes down.
The drought really caught you unaware and a wheat-killing fungus invaded your crops. You now have to buy, at retail, food for your cows. You may—or may not—break even this year.
The ranch is finally starting to make some money. You're able to pay your ranch hands and your in-laws have stopped referring to you and your wife as Ma and Pa Ingalls.
At auction last year you felt sorry for a cow-eyed white calf and bought it. Turns out it was a sacred white "beefalo" and the Sioux Indian tribe of South Dakota wants to purchase it from you for more than your entire ranch is worth.