Greg Christiansen’s Gross Margin Spreadsheet Helps You Focus on Profit

This week, Greg Christiansen of Grandview Grain and Livestock comes to us from his kitchen/office to share the Gross Margin spreadsheet he developed for his goat/sheep enterprise. While he uses his meat goat herd to demonstrate how he uses it, it works for other livestock as well. What is Gross Margin per Unit and Why do We Care? John Marble wrote an excellent article about paying attention to margins to ensure profitability. In it he defines gross margin as the cost of keeping breeding animals alive through the year. When we subtract that number from the money we make for selling kids, lambs, calves, etc., we have our margin. That's the money we use to pay our overheads (land, labor and other indirect costs). We care because if our gross margin doesn't cover those, we're out of business.   A Walk Through the Spreadsheet Greg starts by figuring the value of his inventory at the beginning of the year. For him, that's March when he brings the nannies and kids in for vaccinations and hoof cleaning. Your start date can be any day you choose. For this example he enters the number of breeding does and bucks he has, and then the value per animal. In this case he has 100 breeding

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