Category: Making a Change

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Essentialism

closet

Each fall and winter our Executive Link meetings start with a continuing education program. We usually reach for something outside the ranching world that our members would not otherwise be exposed to. Often this is a book from business management circles. This fall our book is Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. […]

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Having the Courage to Talk

deep conversation

I’m extremely fortunate that I have the pleasure of working with an exceptional group of clients and colleagues. Those who choose to attend the Ranching for Profit School are already a cut above the average agricultural business operator. They are above average because they have chosen to make a significant investment in themselves along with […]

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Healthy Land, Happy Families and Profitable Businesses: Stan Parsons’ Legacy

Stan Parsons

Hazel Parsons emailed me last Wednesday that her husband, Stan, died earlier that day from Covid-19 related pneumonia. I sat staring at the email, absorbing the news and trying to imagine what my life would have been like had I not met Stan.    I first heard of Stan Parsons when I was an undergrad […]

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Planning in a Volatile Market

market trading

The landscape for marketing your products is changing so quickly it is hard to keep track of the changes that occur on almost a daily basis. I’m tired of hearing the term “uncertain times” during the coronavirus pandemic. Has there ever been “certain times”? Definitely not when it comes to ag markets!   I’ve been spending […]

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Is Tagging Calves a Good Idea?

calf tag

We need to constantly challenge the management practices we do on the ranch, to make sure they still make sense. As business management guru Edwards Demming (who lived in Powell, WY) said, “It is not necessary to change, survival is not mandatory.” Since calving season is in full swing across most of cow country, I […]

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Beauty in Simplicity

cow flowers

We tend to overcomplicate 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 myself? […]

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The Tradition vs Innovation Paradox

sunset cowboy

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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The Power of a Plan

We are currently in a time of financial stress in agriculture. The past few months, as we have been conducting our Ranching for Profit Schools all over the U.S. the stress has been palpable from many of the operations that are attending. The hands-on afterhours work sessions we facilitate at the school have been busy. […]

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Principles Not Practices

Most of your neighbors think in terms of practices. Should I feed this or that? Should we run this type of cattle or those other ones? Do we calve in this pasture or the one over there? It is easy to understand why we spend so much time talking about practices. Everywhere you turn someone […]

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Just Start

We just wrapped up the Abilene Ranching for Profit School. It was an amazing week with 53 forward thinking ranchers who are challenging conventional wisdom and driving their businesses forward. I was joined by John Locke of Hungerford, TX who served as a co-instructor for the school. John has attended the Ranching for Profit School […]

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