Have a Vision and Stick to It - Advice for Ranches Big and Small from Joe Leathers of the Four SixesTue, 24 Apr 2018 14:30:45 CDT
Take care of your land. Raise good Angus cattle. The Four Sixes ranch manager, Joe Leathers, starts there.
“We can love the cattle business and we can love the horse business. And we can want to do the very best job we can, but reality is if we don't take care of our land, the health of it, the water, the grass, the wildlife that goes along with that, then it won't be very long, we're not going to raise any cattle or horses, because the land will be ruined,” Leathers said. “So, our first priority in the industry is to take care of the country. We're the original environmental stewards.”
To watch a short video clip of Joe Leathers, general manager of 6666 Ranch in Guthrie, Texas, offer his advice for ranches big and small, click or tap the PLAYBOX in the window below.
Ranches, no matter the size, have a big part to play.
“The consumer, a lot of times, has a misconception that we're big, cigar-smoking ranchers that own thousands and thousands of cows,” he said. “And there are a few that are like that, but most of the, most of the cattle industry is made up of small businesses. Small family businesses run by a mother and a father, a lot of times a grandmother and a granddad are still there, and the kids are growing up there. And the next generation takes it over.”
The ones that sustain this culture have a plan and stick to it.
“I think that every operation large and small needs to have a vision of where they want that operation to be,” Leathers remarked. “And what they want to accomplish in their lifetime and in what they offer to the future generation that takes that ranch over.”
Hardships will come, Leathers says, and goals can be adjusted. From there, stay the course.
“There's a difference between a vision and a goal,” he said. “A goal is standards or markers that you set in order to achieve the vision. But the vision for what you have for your operation should never change.”
A vision to raise the best cattle on the Four Sixes meant replacing Hereford with Angus sires.
“Our performance in the yards has greatly, greatly improved. And the performance of the calves, the grade of the meat, there's just night and day difference,” Leathers concluded. “So, the marketability of our cattle is changed dramatically because of Angus cattle.”
A plan likely to last generations.
Source - Certified Angus Beef
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