Category: Planning & Management

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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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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Ranching Network

RFP school

One of the challenges in working in the ranching profession is the difficulty of finding a network of forward thinking, driven and creative problem solvers. Many of us enjoy the ability to work on our own or with a small team, but when it comes to strategic level visioning and planning it sure helps to […]

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Ranch Management Instruction Manual

As you open gifts this Christmas, they will probably include a few instruction manuals often, full of ridiculous legal jargon. Those manuals tend to get thrown out with the used wrapping paper and boxes. But what if your ranch came with an instruction manual that was actually useful? I’m not talking about how to fix […]

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Focus on What We Can Control

focus

When the US Air Force Thunderbirds perform a formation roll maneuver the slot pilot is surrounded on all sides in close formation by other aircraft. He maintains his position by intense focus on a point of the aircraft next to him. He can’t be distracted by watching the aircraft behind him. The pilot focuses only […]

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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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Fall is Planning Time

coffee autumn

As fall work wraps up for most in cow country, now is the time to start planning for next year. Here are a few essential pieces of that plan: Gross Margin projections and analysis of key enterprises Overhead projection and analysis Profit target setting and how profit will be used Grazing plan for next year […]

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Cow Depreciation – Don’t Follow a Recipe

cow calf

There has been quite a bit written about managing cow deprecation over the past few years. In simple terms cow depreciation is the reduction of value of a cow from its height of value until it is sold for salvage. I’m glad this often hidden cost is getting attention and that ranchers now see this […]

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A Good Day

ranch life

Yesterday was a good day. We pulled bulls from a group of cattle, I’ve been custom grazing for long-time customers who are now friends. The day started early with some neighbors loading horses before first light and making our way up the mountain to the pasture. After riding a circle, we had 3 of the […]

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