“I’ve made it my work to find good operators and learn from them so I can get better.” That’s what Burke Teichert told me a number of years ago when I interviewed him for a story on ranch management clubs. I found it an amazing pronouncement from a man considered by many to be a guru of ranch management.

Raised on a family ranch in western Wyoming, and armed with a B.S. in ag business from Brigham Young University and an M.S. in ag economics from the University of Wyoming, Teichert has a history that is deep and varied. He’s served as a university faculty member, cattle reproduction specialist and, most notably, as general manager and vice president of AgReserves, Inc., more commonly known as Deseret Ranches.

He retired last year from AgReserves Inc., after having been involved in seven major ranch acquisitions in the U.S. and the management of a number of farms and ranches in the U.S., as well as Canada and Argentina. Over the years, he’s developed a reputation for organizing ranches to be very cost-effective with efficient, small crews.

His practical take on livestock production and ranch management is why I’m excited to introduce him as an addition to our list of BEEF contributors. Teichert will be penning a monthly column on strategic planning for the ranch, but his concepts apply to any sector. His first installment appears on page 70.

Five essentials of ranch management

The column will delve into what he calls the “five essentials” for profitable ranch management; a five-point distillation of the lessons he’s learned over his decades in the business. They include:

  • A lifelong approach to management needs to be both integrative and holistic.
  • We must strive for continuous improvement of the key resources. On most ranches these will be land, livestock, and people; but could expand to include wildlife or other resources.
  • We must assemble and use good analysis and decision-making tools.
  • We must wage war on cost.
  • We must place an emphasis on marketing.

Teichert will expound on these points in coming issues. Though his column will be restricted to 650 words in our printed edition, he’ll provide further elaboration on these topics as needed in the online versions of his articles, which will be archived at beefmagazine.com.

In that same interview years ago, Teichert also said this: “Paradigm lockdown is a real danger in our business. That’s when you have a good way of doing something, so you lock down on it as being the best way, rather than considering it a good way and that there might be a better way that we need to find.”

Breaking through some of that “lockdown” is what Teichert brings to the table. I hope you’ll follow him each month in BEEF and beefmagazine.com.

Read Teichert's Strategic Planning Column here.