Miranda Reiman on Replanning the Plan with your Cattle BusinessTue, 13 Apr 2021 12:50:07 CDT
Miranda Reiman writes in Black Ink for Certified Angus beef on Replanning the plan.
We had one kid and an hour of church to get through. Iíd load the diaper bag with Cheerios, fruit snacks and sippy cups. It was an effective strategy that kept my son entertained and occupied many a Sunday morning.
A few years with four kids age six and under, it began to look like we were serving a breakfast buffet in the back pew. One morning in particular, as I heard wrappers rustling and kiddos munching, I realized it was time to reevaluate my plan. What once worked beautifully was working no longer.
In the cattle business, itís just as easy for a brilliant strategy to become less ideal over time. Everything changes, eventually throwing its shade on even the brightest ideas.
One generational ranch found gold in the 1990s by selling their market-topping calves at weaning, only to buy plainer, cheaper and heavier weaned calves for stocker pastures. A decade later, they decided to keep the focus on their own calves and aim for the premium beef market.
In many jobs thereís a regular evaluation protocol, with annual, bi-annual or quarterly introspection and external feedback. It gives people a chance to see what theyíre doing well and where they could improve.
Some cattlemen are involved in programs that offer similar check-ins, but reviewing whatís working and what isnít doesnít have to be formal or even as predictable as the calendar.
Family business meetings can help, but reevaluation can be as simple as giving the routine a second thought.
How have your genetics improved in the last few years? Perhaps there is an opportunity to alter stocking rates or sire selection in response to that directional change. If youíve met a herd goal, you could set it higher or set a new one.
Have market shifts affected your final target? If so, maybe itís time to analyze your weaning program or selling strategy.
Each year, new technology enters the scene at a rapid pace. You canít implement it all, but if you never study potential benefits, you may miss out on possible advantages.
Long road trips or extra tractor-seat time often make great backdrops for pondering improvements. Other decisions require a good calculator or a spreadsheet full of useful data so you can crunch the numbers. Sometimes you might want to seek out expert advice from your genetics supplier, veterinarian or a marketing professional. Other times you just need to apply your own intuition.
As we added a couple more kids to the family it turned out that our switch to a "no eating in church" policy was a wise adjustment. My 24-year-old self probably wouldnít believe toddlers could possibly survive without using snacks as a crutch, but Iíve got plenty of real-world experience that says they do.
Is there anything youíve accepted as status quo that could benefit from a little reevaluation?
Next time in Black Inkģ I will look to the future.
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