Tag: ranchers

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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“No” Starts The Conversation

“No” is a powerful word. There are dozens of ways to say it … “That won’t work here,” or “We tried that before and it didn’t work.” But regardless of how it is said, it protects the person who says it and can be maddening to the person who hears it. “No” protects the status […]

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To Move or Not To Move

How do you know when it is time to move animals from one pasture to another? Most people figure that if they are out of feed in one pasture, it is time to move. The herd is probably standing at the gate voicing their agreement that it is time to “Mooove.” There’s nothing they’d like […]

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You Can’t Retire From Ranching

How is the next generation ever supposed to step up if the current generation can’t step down or at least step aside? The short answer is they can’t. It’s one reason managerial authority on many ranches skips a generation. More calamitous, it’s a major reason why young people don’t stay in ranching and multi-generational ranches […]

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Overheads Are Fixed!

What would you have to do to increase profit in a business where you couldn’t control costs? You’d have to increase production per animal, increase the number of animals you carry and hope for higher prices. These are the strategies most ranchers have followed, and Universities have recommended, for generations. It’s a logical approach if […]

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Monuments to Tax Avoidance

We have our end of the year tax appointment next Monday. That reminded me of a ranch I visited a few years ago. The owner’s son showed me around. As we pulled out of the yard we passed a big aerator they’d bought to crush sagebrush. If you aren’t familiar with aerators, the drum is […]

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Scraping By

I received the following email from a young rancher last week: Dave, I am a young rancher and have grown my herd to over 100 cows over the last four years. In addition to my own operation I earn additional income working for my Dad on his place. I owe $15,000 of my cattle loan, have […]

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Two Mornings A Week

Several weeks ago I included a WOTB quiz in a ProfitTips column in which readers could score the extent to which they work ON their businesses. Click here to read that column. The column was picked up by some other publications and wound up generating conversations on several other popular blogs. Most of the people making comments said that […]

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The Value of Gain & Grass

Wally Olson is a rancher from Vinita, Oklahoma. He has a profitable cattle trading enterprise based on the Sell/Buy marketing principles popularized by Bud Williams. At the foundation of Wally’s operation is an understanding of the value of grass and the value of gain.  Wally is quick to point out that he doesn’t limit his […]

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Cowboys and Grassmen

I once heard Bud Williams say, “Ranchers love their cows and hate their grass.”  Bud thought they had it backwards. They should love their grass and hate their cattle. I know that Bud didn’t really hate cattle or think that anyone else ought to hate them, but his point was that for a livestock business […]

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