Fall and Winter are approaching fast and we want to bring you as much information as we can that can help you! We ask Dr. Cody Creelman, Cow Vet, if he had any advice for ranchers as we move into Fall and he has some GREAT points. Stay tuned for his guest blog that drops Monday 9/31 for his story and how he got to where he is!
Here is some advice from beef cattle veterinarian, Dr. Cody Creelman to our Ranchers
I can’t stress enough for ranchers to get as educated as possible. There are so many resources now that never used to be available and knowledge really is power. I don’t think I have ever met a rancher that has researched all of the different possibilities of how to do something. It really is a golden age of accessing information as a rancher and I really want to encourage them to dive in, you’re never going to hurt your operation by learning too much. 50 years ago, ranchers had maybe their neighbor and veterinarian as resources and that was it. Educate yourself! Working with professionals can save you so much money down the line by being able to leverage the resources that are available whether that’s your lawyer, accountant, vet, or nutritionist, there are so many resources that we can use to make sure we are profitable.
Another thing that is so underlooked, is knowing your cost of production. I think it is so underlooked because it’s hard and takes a lot of work and time to do the math. At the end of the day, your ranch is a business and we need to treat it as such. There needs to be more ranchers that know their breakevens on what they are producing and making the necessary adjustments to improve their profitability. It is baffling how many cow/calf producers cannot tell me what their break even is. And it’s so easy to cheat by not factoring your labor, land cost, and the list goes on.
Sometimes it’s a little too scary to figure it out because you have to face the hard facts that the romance of having a cattle ranch has covered up. Sometimes certain operations can get away with it due to a variety of different reasons and one of the big ones is increasing land values. With the appreciation of land values, it has subsidized everything else that we’ve done in cattle production because you can just hit break even or even lose money every year if your land value is appreciating at a great enough extent then that allows your operation to still be sustainable. But if you’re pairing out each individual operation like your grass operation, hay operation, and cattle operation, it can be really scary once you recognize what your true break even is on the cow/calf side. But knowing your numbers is crucial and will help you in the long run.
I also want to encourage ranchers to establish those relationships with stockyards, feedyards, buyers, and everyone else they will come in contact with when it comes time to sell. They are producers but they also have to sell their product. It hurts your business when you go to sell and just take the price you’re given instead of advocating for yourself, your product, and by proving you have the numbers to show what you can and can’t take. It truly makes a huge difference. A cattle buyer isn’t going to know everything that you do unless they know your story, which adds value. I’ve met tons of buyers and feeders that are willing to hear you out and get the back story in order to give you the right bid, so I urge you to nourish those relationships.
Fall and Winter are vastly approaching and I hope you all are getting ready. If you have any questions or want to talk I love connecting with the community. I hope this was helpful and I look forward to connecting with you!
Stay tuned for my guest blog on Monday 9/30 to hear my back story, how I got to where I am, and where I am headed next!
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