“You cannot put an old head on young shoulders.” This is a saying of Chip Hines’ Grandmother. The understanding of how to transfer knowledge and responsibility to the next generation is the most important thing that a person can do. This is where I want to retire to. I have not had a bigger challenge to work on than this. The problem with the transfer of knowledge is taking information and running it through real life and knowledge comes out the other end. Therein lies the problem, it takes skin in the game and being out on the cutting edge where you can bleed to gain this knowledge. Chip and I have talked long and hard on how we can help with this process, because sometimes the business bleeds to death.
Ranching is very simple. With sun shine and some rain, you grow grass and you harvest it with animals and have food, fiber and recreation. It is also the most complex and interrelated calling that there is in my opinion. There are more ways to ranch than the “BIG BLACK COW BOX OF RANCHING.” The greatest return is to the skills that a person has. Stockmanship will reduce stress on animals and people. This will reduce sickness and improve performance. Grazing Management will increase production and improve the biodiversity of the land. There can be more than just cows on a ranch. Biodiversity of animals is as important as biodiversity of the land. Both the ones on top and the ones in the soil. OPEN-MINEDNESS is a skill that has great value but few can claim.
Profit is the life blood of any ranch. This was the focus of Bud Williams Marketing. There can be great production with good grazing management and the correct genetics but without selling it at a profit you will not have a sustainable ranching operation.
Two words that need to be any ranch’s mission statement are BALANCE and OPTIMUM. We have for years been on a “production is the only way to make it” work paradigm. With doing this we have created a system that is not profitable and is a lot hard work with stress on both the people and animals. David Pratt wrote a book of essays “Healthy Land, Happy Families and Profitable Businesses” This is all that needs to be said.
If I can help “PUT AN OLD HEAD ON YOUNG SHOULDERS” let me know.