Tag: cows

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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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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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Good Grazing Shouldn’t be Controversial

spring grazing

“You don’t believe in that silly rotational grazing mumbo jumbo do you?” “Oh…. You’re one of ‘those people’!” “I’d quit ranching if it meant moving my cows around in circles all the time.” I’m guessing many of you have heard some version of the statements above and maybe even said it or thought it yourself. […]

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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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Attracting & Retaining Quality Employees

“You just can’t find anyone willing to work anymore.” I hear this quite often from ranches struggling to find and retain quality employees. When we look deeper into the situation it is often no surprise, as we expect our ranch employees to give long hours in sometimes difficult conditions with mediocre compensation.  In the Ranching […]

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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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