Tag: gross margin

Principles Not Practices

Most of your neighbors think in terms of practices. Should I feed this or that? Should we run this type of cattle or those other ones? Do we calve in this pasture or the one over there? It is easy to understand why we spend so much time talking about practices. Everywhere you turn someone […]

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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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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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The Unit

Improving gross margin per unit is the second of the Three Secrets For Increasing Profit™. It is also the most misunderstood. Gross margin is the contribution an enterprise makes toward covering overhead costs and producing profit. Gross margin per unit measures the economic efficiency of  that enterprise. It is a powerful tool for comparing enterprises […]

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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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5 Keys to Quality Cattle

A popular industry magazine found its way to my desk this week. An article that described five essential “wisdoms” for producing quality cattle piqued my curiosity. According to the author, the first key is “Be fanatic about animal health.” Key number two is “Pay the extra money for a good bull and build a reputation for […]

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Free Money Can Be Expensive

Letting government programs dictate your management and set priorities can be costly. The most obvious example is probably the emergency feed program. In drought impacted areas, this program incentivizes ranchers not to destock. The result has been severe overstocking during drought, when the impacts of bad management are intensified.   Even programs like EQUIP (Environmental […]

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Pounds per Head or Pounds per Acre

For decades we’ve been encouraged to evaluate the efficiency of production by focusing on weight weaned per cow. Now some are arguing that the critical measure should really be pounds weaned per acre. But neither measure is very useful. Each is just a different side of the same failed paradigm: increasing production will increase profit. […]

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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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It Doesn’t Matter What They Want

Earlier today someone called me asking for advice regarding a bid he was about to make for a property he wanted to rent. The property could support 200 cows from May to October and the term of the lease would be 10 years. He hoped that I would have some knowledge about rents in his […]

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