April 26, 2021

Managing Risk and Social Pressure

This 3 minute video is part of the NRCS-sponsored series Soil Health How-To. In this series, Dr. Buz Kloot, visits farms, orchard and vineyards in the West and Southwest to see how they are implementing soil health principles.During his visit to Idaho, Buz meets with farmers Luke Adams and and Brian Kossman to talk about […]

April 12, 2021

Business Planning Without Killing Your Dreams

I am not a planner, at least not in the strict sense of the term. I’m more of a “visionary.” I get a picture of something I’d like to do or accomplish, I imagine it fully-formed and beautiful, I think about the first steps for heading in that direction, I describe the benefits to myself […]

March 29, 2021

The Turnaround: A Rancher’s Story

Dave Pratt has a new book out and it’s one all graziers should read. Packed with principles and processes drawn from the widely acclaimed Ranching For Profit School, The Turnaround: A Rancher’s Story, tells a story familiar to us all about facing the frustrations and overcoming the challenges that all family ranches must overcome if […]

March 15, 2021

Turning a Livestock Operation into a Profitable Business – First Steps

March 15 is the day that business taxes are due. I don’t know why it’s a month earlier than regular taxes, but ever since I started running On Pasture as though it were a business, I’ve learned a lot about that kind of thing. There’s so much to know, and as Dave Pratt says here, […]

March 1, 2021

What Calving Season is Best for Your Bottom-Line?

These graziers focus on calving with nature to reduce inputs and make more money. But while May-June is great for them, it doesn’t fit for everyone. I’ve updated this article so we can revisit it together, paying attention to the principles at work. You’re invited to tell us what works for you and why. How […]

February 15, 2021

Business Planning Made Less Painful

If you’re dreaming of starting a grazing operation, if you’ve ever asked “what kind of animals should I raise?” if you’re considering adding a new enterprise, or would like to get a loan to expand, a business plan is in your future. Why? Business planning helps you ask questions that clarify where you want to […]

February 1, 2021

Here’s the One Number That Correlates Directly to Profitability

Dallas Mount has a question: “If you could only show me one number on your ranch that directly correlated to the profitability of your cow-calf operation, what would that number be?” He says that traditionally folks assume the answer is weaning weight or price received for calves. But it turns out they’re wrong. The answer […]

January 18, 2021

Do You Know Who Your Market Is?

Marketing is the life blood of any farming enterprise. As cattle producers we have sold most of our stuff at the sale barn. We have sold some on a couple of video sales but were not even a little satisfied. Last year we sold some calves to a young couple who are just starting to […]

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 […]

December 21, 2020

New Ideas to Solve Old Problems

John Marble focuses on helping us take a new look at things we might take for granted. Examples include his thoughts on paddock design and moving livestock, and his article “From Minimal To Mob – Lifestyle and Economic Considerations for Designing your Grazing Program” where he gets us to think about how many times a […]

December 7, 2020

Farm Data: A Little Can go a Long Way to Making Good Decisions

  We all know that the explosion of big data retention and analysis is affecting our daily lives, but can your farm data help you with your business? YUP. As the brilliant Doc. Brown stated in the documentary Back to the Future, “you don’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.” […]

November 23, 2020

Record Keeping and the Importance of Journaling

In keeping with the spirit of the Thanksgiving week, here’s a little something about how record keeping can make us remember the past and be grateful. There have been, over the years, many discussions of the importance of records in the livestock business. There are production records. There are breeding and birthing records. There are […]

November 9, 2020

How Much Should I Charge/Pay for Pasture Rental?

Good question! And one I’ve been asked quite often. One good place to start is at the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. NASS is the federal agency tasked gathering and reporting the facts on American agriculture for people working in and depending on the industry. In addition to a Census of Agriculture every five years, […]

October 26, 2020

Here’s a Tool to Make Farm/Ranch Financial Analysis Easier

If you’re not a great record keeper, you’re not alone. Most folks I know would rather be outside doing chores than inside filing receipts or going through records to figure out if the latest enterprise is bringing in the expected profit. So, to make it easier, and set you up for success, the Center for […]

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 […]

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