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.

We tend to build our businesses around the exception rather than the rule. If an office in town managed their business that way, they’d have fire trucks circling the block 24/7 because, after all, someday a fire might break out.

An Idaho rancher wrote me an email asking for my advice on how to navigate a collapsing cattle market and an unpredictable future. He asked, “What do you do when money is tight and the future is uncertain?” Our natural reaction is to tighten our belt and try to ride out the storm. But is that the best strategy?

Last month I met with a young Ranching For Profit alumnus who had accomplished some big things in a short time. He was leasing several ranches and running hundreds of cattle and, if I remember right, about a thousand sheep. “I don’t want to get stuck in a rut,” he explained, and said he’d take on anything that could make a profit.

You Might Be A Manager If.....

Most “ranch managers” aren’t managers. They don’t do the work of a manager, they don’t produce the results a manager would produce and they aren’t paid what a manager would get paid. The result isn’t just poor management. Most American ranches aren’t managed at all!