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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

September 27, 2021

Asking “What Should We Do?” Instead of “What Can We Do?” Leads to More Possibilities

In managing through the recent drought covering much of cow country, I hear a lot of discussion around questions like:  “How many cows ‘can’ we keep?”;  “How much hay do we have on hand?”; “How much hay can we afford to buy?”. These questions are not very helpful. They miss the larger point. In looking […]

July 12, 2021

Should You Diversify? Or Is There Beauty in Simplicity?

We tend to over complicate things. A simple business that does a few things well and at scale, is a thing of beauty! It is easy to get caught in the trap of doing lots of small things. After all, if someone is making money on the calves I sell, maybe I should background them […]

May 3, 2021

This Year’s Drought – How Much Will it Cost You?

Millions of dollars in bad decisions are made every year as ranches manage through dry-times. Not to mention the damage to pasture heath that occurs through delayed decision making. Primarily, hope of moisture to come and emotional attachment to breeding stock, drive the procrastination of necessary decisions. Having a well-developed drought plan is something that […]

January 4, 2021

Grazing Business Instructions for the New Year

As you opened gifts this Christmas, some may have included instruction manuals, often full of ridiculous legal jargon. Those manuals aren’t very useful and tend to get thrown out with the used wrapping paper and boxes. But what if you got an instruction manual that was actually useful to your grazing operation? I’m not talking […]

October 12, 2020

Is “Tradition” Harming Your Operation?

Agriculture is steeped in tradition. These traditions serve as a source of pride and continuity which help make us who we are in agriculture. However, these same traditions create a paradox of sorts when it comes to managing the business of ranching. Balancing respect for traditions and fostering innovation can be tricky to navigate. Another […]

September 28, 2020

How to Start a Ranch From Scratch

Can’t be done. At least that is what conventional wisdom says. I’d agree that it can’t be done, if you follow the rules of traditional ranching – running cows the way everyone else does and owning everything. If you are willing to break some rules and challenge conventional wisdom maybe you can join the amazing […]

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