Reminiscing on our Roots

by Dallas Mount

Stan Parson's course

Ranch Management Consultants was founded in 1983 by Stan Parsons. Stan Parsons had a background in animal husbandry and agricultural economics then after years of working with ranchers in the field he developed the Ranching for Profit School and led RMC for its first 20 years. Wrapping up 2023 marked our 40th year in business! I’m so proud of our team at RMC and honored to carry on the legacy of our founder Stan Parsons, and builder, Dave Pratt.

We just wrapped up another phenomenal season of our Ranching for Profit School and Executive Link program. Our whole team at RMC did an amazing job! From our crew here at the office taking care of all the back-end work to our incredible group of instructors and facilitators that bring our teachings to the public; thanks to everyone that makes this all happen. 

I’ve been reflecting this year on the efforts and passion of those who came before us to establish and build RMC into what it is today. I’m grateful to be carrying on the legacy of helping ranchers build resilient businesses.  

Dave Pratt recently handed me a piece of RMC’s history in a 3-ring binder of Stan Parson’s newsletters starting in 1978 before he founded RMC and when he and Allan Savory were still living and working with livestock farmers in Rhodesia. I thought for this ProfitTips you would find this first newsletter interesting just as I did. In the newsletter Stan refers to a management course which would become the Ranching for Profit School. The original format scanned can be read here.

Stan Parson newsletter

As I read the newsletter I was struck by the similarity of challenges faced by Rhodeasian farmers in 1978 and today’s farm/ranch leaders. Enterprise selection, organization and leadership of people, market decisions on what to buy and what to sell, and the need for a strong network of other farm/ranch business leaders to discuss things with. I’m thankful Stan developed the school focusing on principles that stand the test of time, which can be applied across regions throughout the world. I hope Stan would be proud of how we’ve changed and adapted the company he created. I know Dave Pratt is proud of what we are doing – he told me again just last week! 

As you reflect on your own operations’ history and those who have come before you, what values are you carrying on? What changes have you implemented to keep the business resilient and relevant? What are you doing to position the next generation for success, which doesn’t just involve a physical asset?

6 Responses to “Reminiscing on our Roots”

March 13, 2024 at 8:34 am, Mike Harrison said:

I heard Savory and Parsons at the Stockman’s School in Phoenix when they were first in the US. We were one of there first clients, we learned how to address the problems facing ranchers together and attended their first Ranching For Profit school.

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March 13, 2024 at 9:10 am, Lee Sexton said:

Thanks for the history lesson on RMC. Grazing fire breaks I found interesting and would be interested in learning more about. Could I get permission to share Stans letter in a newsletter That I share with outsiders of RFP folk?

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March 13, 2024 at 1:59 pm, Dallas Mount said:

Permission granted Lee. Thanks for asking. Dallas

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March 13, 2024 at 9:36 am, alpha621 said:

We just came out of our EL meetings and they are proving invaluable. One of our discussions centered around how long it’s taking us to milk. We’re exploring once a day milking. Group discussion centered around installing a robot. One of our board members calculated that we’re throwing upwards of $100,000 in man hours in milking labor over the course of a year. That got my attention! It’s unacceptable! I would have never considered such a calculation. We’re not actually writing a check for that in large part because I’m a big part of the milking labor. But we’re now identifying why our facilities are inefficient and what we can do about it. $50,000-$100,000 investment to facility upgrades to cut milking time in half (which is very do able) will pay for itself very quickly! Never would have realized any of this without our EL board. The cost of being in EL is priceless! Thank you Stan, Dave and Dallas

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March 13, 2024 at 2:01 pm, Dallas Mount said:

Thanks for sharing this. It just drives home the fact that anyone will benefit from getting outside perspectives on our own situations. If it was me doing the milking your business would fail…..I know that for sure!

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March 15, 2024 at 9:28 am, Hendrik O'Neill said:

As fellow Zimbabweans, we are so immensely proud of the pioneering work that Allan Savory, Stan Parsons and Johann Zietsmann have done. One could not wish for better mentors

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