What do we call a top 10% rancher? This is a rancher who is on top of his (or her) game – a professional manager of grass and livestock. He implements the best technologies available. He knows his cost of production. He markets his output. He works with a long term plan in mind. By being better than 90% of the industry, he stays profitable in all but the most difficult of times.
You notice we include a lot of customers in our advertising. That’s because we have a lot of customers who are top 10% ranchers. These are by no means our only customers that fall into this category. The ranchers we feature have expressed a willingness to tell their story. Whether you study their ranch, their grass, their people, or their cattle – you will be impressed. By studying their success, we hope that you can pick up a philosophy or strategy that could be put to use in your operation.
Move Your Herd Into the Top 10% Genetically
1. Establish Your Targets
Successful programs maintain long term selection goals and stick to their plan. They either target high end product quality (Angus & Red Angus) or they focus on production efficiency with crossbreeding (Stabilizer & Charolais). Both targets work! Then they fine tune by setting goals for cow size, milk level, calving ease, etc.
2. Find a Doctor
No, you don’t really need a doctor, but you should seek help from an outside advisor. Pick someone that you trust and ask them to help you design a program that best fits your targets. At Leachman, we have professional Representatives that know our system inside and out. Let one of them help you make the best possible decisions.
What Drives $Profit
Many traits affect $Profit, but these are the major drivers:
- Cow Size
- Carcass Quality
- Carcass Weight
- Feed Efficiency
3. Use $Profit to Pick Your Bull Genetics
$Profit and $Ranch are the two strongest tools you can use to select your bull battery. Use $Profit to maximize profit from birth to harvest. Select for $Ranch to maximize profit from birth to weaning. Any other selection criteria you use will result in less profitability. Whether you pick an elite herd sire to use via artificial insemination or buy a group of yearling bulls to turn out – our indexes are your best breeding tool. $Profit and $Ranch allow you to make decisions as well or better than any master breeder!
Let’s face it, selecting replacements is one of the toughest jobs you have. It’s not that you are not a good stockman – the truth is that it is nearly impossible to predict which heifers will turn into the best cows. Now, there is a new way. We can DNA type your heifer calves back to your turn out bulls. Then, with the aid of DNA markers, we can predict $Ranch and $Profit on your heifer calves. Then you can simply keep the most profitable ones. Start this year, by stockpiling DNA samples on all of your turn out bulls.
5. Capture the Value of Your Calves.
Calves vary in value at weaning by over $300 per head at the same weight. Do you know how your calves rank? If not, then how are you making them better? It’s impossible to manage what you do not measure. Leachman Cattle is working with Decatur County Feed Yard to help ranchers benchmark their production. We also have used our $Profit technology to power the new “Reputation Feeder Cattle” program by Verified Beef.