How the Sand Ranch Became Profitable (And How You Can Do It Too!)

This is the first in a series that ran through May of 2016. It takes us through the changes that Cody and Deanna Sand made to their operation that mad their ranch profitable and their lives more fun. Cody and Deanna shared their story at NatGLC's 2015 grazing conference. Enjoy! The year that they sold their calves and still couldn't pay all their bills, Cody and Deanna Sand asked their banker what they should do for the coming year. His suggestion, to borrow more money, just wasn't going work.  Between Deanna's off-farm job and Cody making and repairing saddles and working on the farm, they were already working harder and harder, having less and less fun and going further into debt. Something had to change, and fast! What they did is a testament to what happens when you look at your problems in a new way and then dig in and do something about them. Holistic Management Course Paves the Way The Sand Ranch is near Forbes, North Dakota. It was started by Deanna's grandparents and Cody and Deanna took it over from her parents in 1999 and then purchased it in 2001 They continued to run the cow calf operation as it had always been run. They calved their cows in March and their heifers in April, running them in 2 to 3 minimally rotated groups through the summer. They grew and put up 3,000 bales of hay a summer, and fed through the winter. Calves were weaned, backgrounded and sold. Through it all, Deanna drove 60 miles one way to work every day and Cody built saddles at home.

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