The drought in the Southwest may help 29-year-old Chad Bicker get to his goal of being a full-time farmer and rancher by the time he's 40.
As farmers in Texas and other bone-dry areas sell cattle because they can't grow hay or afford to buy feed, Bicker has been buying animals for his farm in Illinois. He has 25 cows and hopes to have 35 by next year.
"You're seeing a lot of people get out of the cattle industry just because of the (drought)," Bicker says. "It's a chance for us to expand."
Cattle experts in areas not affected by drought say they're seeing a lot of farmers like Bicker take advantage of rising beef prices and cattle sales in dry areas to expand their businesses. Beef prices have risen because of strong export demand from Asia and a relatively low supply in the U.S.