Category: Economics & Finance

A Strong Gross Margin

cow with horns

If you’re ranching for profit, there is one way to define “a good cow”. She has a strong gross margin. In much of my writing and speaking it might seem that I’m not a fan of cows. But I enjoy cows like most people. My family runs cows each summer for a long-time custom grazing […]

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Maybe We Should Keep Those?

braham

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. Acting on this type of thinking often leads to complicating the business with a lot of little enterprises which can be bad economically and financially. When you start […]

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Can Small Scale Operations be Profitable?

chickens

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 […]

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Going Backwards Working for Wages

trucking

I was having a conversation with a ranch family the other day about doing their own trucking. They haul cattle to corn stalks and back each year, so they hire about 20 loads hauled to get it done. They were running numbers thinking about what owning a semi and cattle pot (trailer) would cost. They […]

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Sell/Buy Lessons from Aaron and Tara

Ranching for Profit flip charts

ProfitTips is taking a different direction this time. Aaron and Tara Helmick recently shared with me a collection of “Lessons Learned” from the past 4 years as they have been on a journey to transform their business. I met Aaron and Tara at a Ranching for Profit School I taught in Rapid City, SD. Aaron […]

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Business IQ

mother and child working

Dr. David Kohl of Virginia Tech has a solid grasp of what it takes to run a successful ag business. He has spent a career speaking, studying and writing on what separates those who are successful in ag business management from everyone else. I was recently reintroduced to Dr. Kohl’s Business IQ test and want […]

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Gross Margin Inside the Cow Herd

black cattle

We just wrapped up a full school in Oklahoma City. It was an amazing week where 54 people spent a week exploring the leadership of their businesses and making new friends along the way. Wally Olson of Olson Ranch and founder of Ranching FYI stopped by and discussed cow depreciation and how to make decisions […]

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Profit – What is it Anyway?

counting money

At the Ranching for Profit School since we talk about profit, we believe we better define it. We ask the participants at the school to come up with a definition of profit, they usually respond with something like Income – Expenses = Profit. Let’s play with that definition some and see how it works.   If […]

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Adding a New Enterprise

sheep

We are in the final days of our 2021 winter Executive Link meetings where Ranching for Profit alumni form peer advisory boards and look into each other’s businesses for strategic level advice. One issue that frequently comes up is the evaluation of adding a new enterprise to the operation. The operator is often excited about […]

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The Power of a Profit Target

Longs Peak

Having a clear target is a powerful thing. A few years ago, I led my son’s scout troop to climb Longs Peak in Colorado. We hit the trail about 2:30 AM and watched the sun rise while sitting above the tree line. As we entered the most difficult stretches, we all struggled at different times. […]

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