Most farms and ranches are family-owned businesses. Some have been passed on from one generation to the next. If you are like most cow-calf producers, you hope to pass your operation on to your kids and to their kids. Although not always possible, each generation would like to enlarge and/or improve their operation before passing it on. This would make it possible for more family members to be involved – without subsidizing the farm or ranch with outside money.
If your farm or ranch was once owned by your grandfather and father, then the decisions made by your grandfather and father have had an effect on what you now manage. Some of their decisions had a positive effect, while others had a negative effect. Many family farms and ranches were lost because of poor decisions – or because decisions were never made. Other family farms and ranches doubled or tripled in size because of good decisions.
The decisions you make or don’t make could have a very profound effect on the future of your family farm or ranch. This is a responsibility that should not be ignored or taken lightly. Unfortunately, I see far too many cow-calf producers procrastinating and taking the “stick your head in the sand” approach to management. Ignorance may be bliss – but it is a very poor management strategy.
The cow-calf business has been so good and so easy for so long that many producers became too complacent to think and plan ahead. Times have changed! The current cow-calf business is precarious at best. No one, however, should have been caught off guard. Even so, I’m afraid many family farms and ranches will be lost or reduced in size simply because producers are unwilling to make the right decisions. They will continue to do what they have always done until they run out of money. They are so afraid of change that failure seems like the best option. That is most unfortunate – but it will provide many opportunities for you to create a bigger and better business.
There will be more opportunities for you and your family operation to advance in the next two years than there have been in the last 20 years – but only if you are able to break away from the status quo, herd-mentality way of thinking. The future belongs to those who are able to successfully transition to an ultra-low-input (profitable) program with efficient, low-maintenance cows. If you have not already made this transition, NOW is the best time to get started. Why wait? He who hesitates may lose all he has! Your kids and grandkids are hoping you make the right decisions.
Here at Pharo Cattle Company, we do much more than just sell bulls. We provide a program and a way of thinking that are focused on increasing pounds and profit per acre – in good times and in not-so-good times. Our low-maintenance bulls are just one part of this program. Our business is helping you – and we take it very seriously. The future of your family farm or ranch matters almost as much to us as it does to you.