“When I bowl, I need the bumpers to keep the ball heading towards the pins, as my wife Maggie and I make decisions on the ranch we need bumpers to keep us heading toward our goal.” This statement was made by Austin Troyer at the recent Executive Link meeting in Billings, MT. Austin, Maggie and their son Harrison run Crossroads Land and Livestock near New Philadelphia, Ohio. They are a bootstrap operation running sheep on leased land moving towards ownership.
Austin shared with us their two ‘bumpers’ that keep them focused.
One group of animals per farm … No exceptions!
Every animal on the farm must be appreciating in value … No exceptions!
Austin shared how before they established these bumpers, they would come up with excuses to justify decisions that complicated their operation. They lease several properties and found themselves creating multiple herds on many of these properties. There were dry cows headed for market in the next few months, bulls here, and heifers over there. After a while each property had two or three herds and what was a simple process of moving pastures on each farm became a full day’s job. One herd per farm also facilitates good grazing management. Fewer herds raises the number of paddocks per herd with existing infrastructure. More paddocks per herd increases recovery period, and increases stock density; the greatest tool to building soil health. After they developed and committed to this bumper the operation became easier to manage.