May 23, 2022

Afraid of Running Out of Grass? Here Are Some Options

If you’re in the half of the country that is anticipating continuing drought this summer, you’ve likely begun looking closely at your drought plan and considering your culling options. It’s common for folks to have a plan for culling about 20% of the herd, but in times like this, when drought threatens grazing resources, it’s […]

May 9, 2022

Journaling – Another Kind of Record Keeping

This month’s focus is on record keeping, and we’re providing different examples of what is and isn’t helpful. Don Ashford started us off with this month’s Grazier’s Focus, and adds some more ideas here. There have been, over the years, many discussions of the importance of records in the livestock business. There are production records. […]

April 25, 2022

Adapting to Drought – Lessons and Alternative Forage That Lead to Success

In 2012 my wife and I, and our two young daughters, embarked on a new and exciting side venture in the cattle industry with the help of a friend who had many years of experience. I outlined several lessons learned in my first article for On Pasture. In a follow-up, I shared more details on […]

April 11, 2022

How to Make Lambing, Kidding and Calving Happen During Daylight Hours

Our March article on calving on grass talked about the monetary, health and stress reduction benefits of ranchers discovered. Here’s another way to improve birthing season that ensures more sleep, and less stress. Feed your pregnant stock every evening, right around dusk. They’ll spend the night ruminating and wait to give birth until morning. That’s […]

March 21, 2022

Are You Working for a Lunatic?

Since January, I’ve been encouraging you to think about your business, starting with a vision and goals that will help you as you plan for this grazing season. (If you’ve missed any in that series, you can find everything here.) With that in mind, I thought this past article by Kit Pharo was appropriate as […]

March 7, 2022

Relationships and Good Management Make the Difference

It’s basically two local land owners, neither of which wanted to expand their operation, or couldn’t expand their operation on their own. They just didn’t have the human resources or the facilities to pull it off and so in order to expand their ranch capacity, they partnered together. They pooled their resources and it’s working […]

February 21, 2022

Thinking About Expanding? Here Are Ideas to Consider First.

Last week, with February’s Thinking Grazier and Notes from Kathy, we looked at the idea of sizing our operations to fit our vision and goals. Both John Marble and Troy Bishopp shared their personal thoughts behind why they had expanded their operations with leased pastures, and then whey they chose to let those leases go […]

February 7, 2022

Risk Management – Here’s a Tool to Make It Easier

Talking about risks means accepting that there are things we can’t control, and some of us have a kind of superstition that says “If I don’t talk about it, it can’t happen.” Unfortunately, that’s not true. So here’s a tool to help you get your head around potential risks, and even better, to get some […]

January 24, 2022

Your Recipe for Success: Answer These Questions

There isn’t one single recipe for a profitable ranch. Not every profitable ranch calves in May and June. Not every profitable ranch has sold all their hay equipment. Not every profitable ranch uses some form of intensive grazing. It’s time to start looking beyond the production practices of some ranches and start looking deeper at […]

I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.

January 10, 2022

Business Planning to Get Where You Want to Go

Since we’re beginning the year by focusing on goals, here’s another avenue: business planning. Yes, business plans are tedious. Yes, they can make you feel like you got stuck on an elevator with the most boring person in the universe while on the way to really great party. But if you work through the pain, […]

December 20, 2021

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Have you ever looked at a group of calves, heifers, cull cows and thought, “Well… maybe we should just keep those?” If you have, you’re not alone. But acting on this type of thinking can lead to complicating your business with a lot of little enterprises that can be bad economically and financially. When you […]

December 6, 2021

Blair Ranch – Investing in Water for Ecosystem Services and Economic Success

The Blair Ranch is a great example of how good livestock stewardship reaps both economic and ecosystem rewards. As Ed and Rich describe in the video below, their initial focus was on providing good forage and water for their stock. With a better water system, weight gains went up, and by piping the water across […]

November 22, 2021

How to Buy Happiness

You know that popular saying “Money can’t buy happiness.”  Well, Michael Norton says that’s wrong. He says “If you think money can’t buy happiness, you’re not spending it right.” He backs this up with research that demonstrates that when people buy the right things they’re actually happier. Not only does buying the right things create […]

November 8, 2021

Small Scale Operations Can Be Profitable – Here’s How

I often hear from people operating on a smaller scale that their limitations of size make it impossible for them to be profitable. “I only run 12 cows and operate on 30 acres. I can’t possibly be profitable!” The limitations to profitability are usually self-induced. When we look inside this operation what we will likely […]

October 25, 2021

Changing Calving Dates? Here’s Help for Thinking About Finances, Profit and Marketing

We’ve all heard the advice about changing from calving in February and March to a time when the weather is nicer and the grass is growing. There are all kinds of reasons why it’s a good thing to do, but it’s not as simple as changing the date when you turn out your bulls. In […]

Translate »