Category: Economics & Finance

Cow-Calf Profitability

calf

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? If you follow traditional thinking you might assume weaning weight, or price received for your calves. Not it. In fact, those numbers have little correlation to profit.   So, what […]

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Going Long

long road

You’ve probably heard the expression, “Go big or go home.” But there is another time-tested strategy that has a higher success rate: “Go long.” It wasn’t just water that carved the Grand Canyon, cold temperatures that led to the last ice age, or a smart investing strategy that made Warren Buffett wealthy. In each case […]

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Ranching from Scratch

baking

Can’t be done. At least that is what conventional wisdom says. I’d agree that it can’t be done, if you follow the rules of traditional ranching – running cows the way everyone else does and owning everything. If you are willing to break some rules and challenge conventional wisdom maybe you can join the amazing […]

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Get Outside Your Area

Are you happy with the results your business is producing? If you want different results, you need to act differently. In order to act differently, we must think differently. If you think producing big calves is the secret to a profitable ranch, you will take actions to produce big calves. At the Ranching for Profit […]

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The Value of a Day

What value does your business need to produce every day? Are you focusing on the right things to achieve this? At the Ranching for Profit School we teach participants how to structure the economic information of their business into a format that is meaningful for making effective business decisions. Over the past few months I’ve […]

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4 Strategies to Improve Gross Margin per Unit

As a student in my very first Ranching For Profit School I was told to make sure I was shooting at the right target before taking aim. That’s common sense. But it’s not commonly practiced.  Livestock producers are great marksmen, but they are often shooting at the wrong target. The target most producers aim at […]

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The Laws Of Economics

My Cousin Vinny is one of my favorite movies. There’s a scene where Vinny, played by Joe Pesci, challenging the witness, asks, “Are we to believe that the laws of physics cease to exist on your stove?” That line, makes me think of some people who market grass finished beef and use grazing practices that […]

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The 3 Secrets For Increasing Profit™

There are three, and only three, ways to increase profit in any business. Stan Parsons called them The 3 Secrets For Increasing Profit™ and introduced them to Ranching For Profit students in 1980. Lately I’ve seen more and more articles by industry pundits that incorporate the 3 secrets in articles and conference proceedings. They rarely […]

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Monuments to Tax Avoidance

We have our end of the year tax appointment next Monday. That reminded me of a ranch I visited a few years ago. The owner’s son showed me around. As we pulled out of the yard we passed a big aerator they’d bought to crush sagebrush. If you aren’t familiar with aerators, the drum is […]

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Scraping By

I received the following email from a young rancher last week: Dave, I am a young rancher and have grown my herd to over 100 cows over the last four years. In addition to my own operation I earn additional income working for my Dad on his place. I owe $15,000 of my cattle loan, have […]

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