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Beef Buzz News


Rick Machen Believes Comprehensive Data Helps Cattle Producers Succeed

Mon, 08 Nov 2021 08:15:39 CST

Rick Machen Believes Comprehensive Data Helps Cattle Producers Succeed In the cattle industry, there are plenty of tough decisions producers make. Uncontrollable factors, like the weather, have huge impacts on every size of operation. Having a game plan in place for when things do not go as planned in key according to Rick Machen, professor at the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management (KRIRM).

“There are tactical decisions and strategic decisions,” Machen said. “The tactical decisions are the everyday things that we do, often they (come in the form of choosing) variable cost items - ‘do I buy product A or product B,’ and those kinds of decisions. Often it is the strategic decisions, in this case, ‘why do I need product A or product B,’ vs. just he decision between those two.”

At KRIRM, Machen and other faculty focus on helping students focus on making strategic decisions, he said.

“Once we get those made and laid to rest, then the tactical decisions become a little bit easier,” Machen said.

Some of the most critical aspects of a cattle operation are defined by the vision and mission of why a producer is in the ranching business, according to Machen.

“Once you understand what the vision and mission is for the ranch, then goals can be set up,” Machen said. “Once you have those goals, that produces clarity at all levels.”

Good information is critical to be successful, Machen said. Often, ranchers have good production information, but are lacking financial information.

“The revenue and inventory side of the management system is usually pretty solid,” Machen said. “What they do not have a good feel for is the managerial accounting side of things … for most of them, the primary goal of their accountant is to minimize tax liability. Unfortunately, that type of accounting does not contribute to the information that we need to make sound decisions, the difficult decisions.”

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Ron Hays and Rick Machen as they talk about responsible management practices all ranchers should follow.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.


   


   

Listen to Ron's conversation with Rick here.
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