Strategic Planning For The Ranch

Soil Health Comes First, Then Grass & Livestock

Table of Contents:

Beef producers need to change the paradigm in ranching from livestock-grass-soil, to soil-grass-livestock.

In recent columns, I’ve touched on the following topics:

Empowered people, because everything in our businesses happens because of and through people – usually those closest to the business, land and livestock.

Sustainability, because it’s such a buzz word and people outside of our business will have an impact, whether we like it or not. Also, ranchers don’t know all we should about the environment, particularly the ecosystem – its complexity and interconnectedness, and how it reacts to our management actions.

Planning strategically first, and then developing tactics and operational schedules and methods to accomplish the strategic objectives. Too often, we do it backwards – starting with operations, then tactics, letting strategy be determined by default – with tactics defining our strategy.

If my writings do nothing more than confirm your current thinking, I’ll have failed. My aim is to, respectfully yet somewhat vigorously, challenge your current view of a cattle ranching business and lead you to some new thoughts, approaches and methods.

I’m reminded of my first meeting with the late Bud Williams – the best, in my opinion, of many gurus of stockmanship. After about 10 minutes of my questioning him, Bud stopped me and said that we needed to change the rules of the conversation.

He then pointed out that I was looking for things I did similarly to how he did them. He told me that I would likely find some and, when I did, “you will think you’re as good as I am, and you’re not.” He then said that for the rest of our conversation, I should only look for things (ways of handling livestock) that he did differently and ask why.

That very short exchange changed the way I have tried to learn from others ever since. Now, when I occupy the role of learner, these are my questions:

  • What are you doing?
  • Am I seeing it correctly?
  • Why do you do that?
  • Why do you do it that way?

Discuss this Blog Entry 1

John R. Dykers, Jr (not verified)
on Jul 4, 2014

Having led a continuing education meeting for physicians every other Thursday for 35 years, the hardest part of learning is giving up an old assumption that we have depended on for making judgements. Turning loose or modifying old assumptions should only be done on solid evidence usually from new technology that allows us to see in ways we could not see previously.
johndykersmd@dykers.com

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What's Strategic Planning For The Ranch?

Burke Teichert provides readers with his practical take on efficient and cost-effective livestock production and ranch management.

Contributors

Burke Teichert

Burke Teichert was born and raised on a family ranch in western Wyoming and earned a B.S. in ag business from Brigham Young University and M.S. in ag economics from University of Wyoming. His work...

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