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 […]

October 11, 2021

What to Consider When Developing Winter Cow Care Agreements

Thanks for this article go to Aaron Berger, Nebraska Extension Beef Educator, Mary Drewnoski, Nebraska Extension Beef Systems Specialist, and J. David Aiken, Extension Water and Agricultural Law Specialist. Watch the Sept. 2, 2021 webinar, “Considerations When Developing Winter Cow Care Agreements,” for a more in-depth look at creating good agreements for all parties.   […]

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 […]

September 13, 2021

Selling Cattle in September Increases Profit Potential

Researchers discovered that sending cattle to feedlots earlier than the traditional timing of October may provide a two- fold benefit.

August 23, 2021

How to Write a Letter/Resume When You Want to Lease Land

If you want to start or expand your farming operation, making contact with a landowner is one of the first steps. Here are some tips about making that all important good first impression.

August 9, 2021

Infrastructure Costs on Different Ranches – Wide Open Spaces and Little Bitty Places

As a young man growing up in the narrow green valleys of western Oregon, I was routinely given the following advice: “If you want to be a rancher, you better move east, because that’s where all the real ranches are.” The “east” all those folks were speaking of is the huge sea of sagebrush that […]

July 26, 2021

How One Grazier Builds Cattle Business on Leased Land

How do you start a second career as a farmer/grazier? For John Shubeck, former Marine Corps Captain, it included not just coming home to work with his Dad, but going to school and learning about new techniques like No-till farming and rotational grazing. In this 6:20 video we visit John at his South Dakota farm […]

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 […]

June 21, 2021

You Can Be Paid for Protecting Your Grasslands, Rangelands and Pastures

  USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting applications for Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands from July 12 to August 20, 2021. The program is an effort to help landowners and operators protect grassland, including rangeland and pastureland, while while still using them for grazing. Participants receive annual payments of not more than 75% of the […]

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