Tag: Ranching

Silver Bullet

misty pasture

There isn’t a recipe for a profitable ranch. Not every profitable ranch calves in May and June. Not every profitable ranch has sold all their hay equipment. Not every profitable ranch uses some form of intensive grazing. It’s time to start looking beyond the production practices of some ranches and start looking deeper at the […]

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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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Succession Assets vs Management

horse barn

Succession. When the word succession is used in agriculture circles most think of who gets what and when. Typically when any industry group hosts a panel on succession, they include a lawyer, an accountant, a young and old rancher; all talking about passing down the assets. When you run an agriculture business, succession is much […]

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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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Can Small Scale Operations be Profitable?

chickens

I often hear from people operating on a smaller scale that their limitations of size make it impossible for them to be profitable. “I only run 12 cows and operate on 30 acres. I can’t possibly be profitable!” The limitations to profitability are usually self-induced. When we look inside this operation what we will likely […]

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Going Backwards Working for Wages

trucking

I was having a conversation with a ranch family the other day about doing their own trucking. They haul cattle to corn stalks and back each year, so they hire about 20 loads hauled to get it done. They were running numbers thinking about what owning a semi and cattle pot (trailer) would cost. They […]

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The Ranch Business Time Bomb

Abandoned house

Think of a ranch business you know of, that is no longer in business. Now I want you to think of the underlying cause for that business no longer being around. Was it related to production? Did the cows not breed, the calves weren’t big enough to bring in decent money or was the death […]

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Drought Planning

drought road

Millions of dollars in bad decisions are made every year as ranches manage through dry-times. Not to mention the damage to pasture heath that occurs through delayed decision making. Primarily, hope of moisture to come and emotional attachment to breeding stock, drive the procrastination of necessary decisions. Having a well-developed drought plan is something that […]

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That Crazy Grazing Stuff

grassland

“You guys don’t tell people to do that crazy grazing stuff with the electric fence do you? Because if so, I’m not coming.” That was an email I recently received asking about our Ranching for Profit School. I responded with a polite and honest answer but the more I think about maybe I should have […]

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Profit – What is it Anyway?

counting money

At the Ranching for Profit School since we talk about profit, we believe we better define it. We ask the participants at the school to come up with a definition of profit, they usually respond with something like Income – Expenses = Profit. Let’s play with that definition some and see how it works.   If […]

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