Tag: gross margin

Economic Planning

toy soliders

Dwight Eisenhower said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”   Eisenhower might as well have been talking about ranching. Speaking of planning … How is your economic plan coming along for next year? Things are changing rapidly. Costs and returns have taken some dramatic shifts in the past few years. The […]

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A Perspective on Gross Margin from Aaron

sheep

Aaron Helmick is a pain in the rear. Even worse he is a dairy farmer from West Virginia pain in the rear. 😆 Somehow Aaron managed to marry Tara and that vastly improved his chances in life. Aaron and Tara are alumni of Ranching for Profit and Executive Link. They are amazing and thoughtful people […]

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Overheads

tractor team

My last ProfitTips article focused on the difference between being productive and being profitable and I used gross margin as a measure of profitability of an enterprise.  In introducing gross margin I made the statement, “The best measure of profitability that I know of, is gross margin per unit.”  I misspoke … or mistyped … […]

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Productive But Not Profitable

cows tractor

North American agriculture could be described in one statement. “Productive but not profitable.” For decades the primary messaging to farmers and ranchers has been to become more productive. You see it everywhere, from the magazines, to the radio ads, to the messaging in our youth development programs. “It’s your responsibility to feed the world. Less […]

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Economic Analysis

economic planning

We recently wrapped up our two day Economics Intensive where alumni of the Ranching for Profit School prepared their economic plan for the coming year. For many of us, if we are left to our own devices, we often put off making an economic plan or get stuck figuring out how to handle a certain […]

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Moneyball is a Movie About Ranching

baseballs

The first time I watched the movie Moneyball, I about came out of my chair thinking, “This movie is about ranching”. The correlations are strong and the lessons from the movie are absolutely appropriate to agricultural businesses. In the movie Moneyball, Billy Beane is the general manager of the Oakland A’s, who have just lost […]

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Making Changes with John Marble

napkin math

John Marble, Ranching for Profit alumnus from Oregon is a not only a rancher, but a thinker, (I consider him a ranching philosopher) and a writer. He wrote the following piece for On Pasture and they kindly allowed me to share it with you. In class we talk about the inventories of grass, money and livestock; but we […]

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A Strong Gross Margin

cow with horns

If you’re ranching for profit, there is one way to define “a good cow”. She has a strong gross margin. In much of my writing and speaking it might seem that I’m not a fan of cows. But I enjoy cows like most people. My family runs cows each summer for a long-time custom grazing […]

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Maybe We Should Keep Those?

braham

Have you ever looked at a group of calves, heifers, cull cows and thought, “Well… maybe we should just keep those?” If you have, you’re not alone. Acting on this type of thinking often leads to complicating the business with a lot of little enterprises which can be bad economically and financially. When you start […]

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What Can We Do vs. What Should We Do?

brainstorming

In managing through the recent drought covering much of cow country, I hear a lot of discussion around questions like:  “How many cows ‘can’ we keep?”;  “How much hay do we have on hand?”; “How much hay can we afford to buy?”. These questions are not very helpful. They miss the larger point. In looking […]

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