Are You Running a Marginal Farm Business? 

There are plenty of worthy ideas floating around about ways to improve the economics of the cattle business, and it’s hard to choose which one is most important. According to the National Grazing Lands Coalition, the business of understanding the concept of margin is critically important to improving our economic outcome. The formula really is […]

What is Estate Planning and Why Should a Rancher Embrace It? 

Estate planning is the process of accumulating, preserving and distributing assets to achieve your financial goals during your lifetime, as well as to provide for your heirs according to your wishes at death.   As such, estate planning is not a one-time event. Instead, it is an ongoing process designed to accomplish accumulation, preservation and distribution […]

Understanding Farm Business Transfer Strategies 

Transferring the farm business from one generation to the next can take several years. This is due, in part, to the large amount of capital involved, explain Gary Hachfeld, former extension educator; David Bau, extension educator, and C. Robert Holcomb, extension educator, University of Minnesota Extension.   This time of transfer can also be used to share knowledge, […]

Tips To Better Communication During Farm Succession Planning 

Farming together requires good communication, mutual respect and trust. It is necessary for everyone to be willing to give and take. This is probably the most stressful part of farming, explain Gary Hachfeld, former extension educator;  David Bau, extension educator, and C. Robert Holcomb, extension educator, University of Minnesota Extension.   While this is not impossible, farmers should […]

Transitioning The Ranch: How to Figure Out What This Might Look Like

When you begin discussions on what transitioning your ranch might look like, the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef recommends you and your children answer each of these questions to help better shape your planning decisions and the future of your operation.  Questions to Ask Parents:   Questions to Ask Children:   In this video, Elaine Froese, farm […]

10 Ways Family Members Sabotage the Implementation of a Ranch Transition Plan 

Estate planning is a process that is often avoided because it deals with issues regarding people, property, laws and taxes – issues that family members may not be ready to think about.   But planning an estate can benefit every agricultural family. The process of creating a plan reduces the stress and uncertainty of not talking […]

Understanding Livestock Watering Habits 

Animal behavior can influence the layout of a rancher’s watering system. These tips from the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Lands can help with system design:   To learn more about the basics of livestock watering systems, check out this webinar. Presenters Bill Reck, environmental engineer, and Kevin Ogles, grazing lands specialist with the USDA […]

The Top Key Water Monitoring Indicators  

There are two water monitoring indicators that can address the timing and amount of water for livestock or other animal species on your farm, according to the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable.   Intermittent or ephemeral sources or no water may limit use in some areas. Vegetation management has been shown to impact stream and spring flows. Drought […]

How to Set Up a Fail-Proof Temporary Waterer for Farm Animals 

To build a temporary watering system on his ranch, Greg Judy, Green Pastures Farm, Rucker, Missouri, uses 3/4-inch polyethylene tubing and high-quality hoses to bring the water from the source to the tank in the pasture.   Fiberglass posts hold the tank in place and keep cattle from knocking it over. Sidewalls from earth moving tires […]

How Much Water Do Livestock Need?  

Water is a key part of grazing livestock.   Lack of water can reduce animal performance more quickly and severely than any other nutrient.   This table from Roger Ingram, a farm advisor with the University of California, shows the amount of water per day different livestock require (see chart pdf below).   “In cooler weather, below 75 […]