photo: Samuel Oslund
Whatever it was that called you to farming – political, environmental, social, or your love of nature – one thing we often overlook as new farmers is the complex realities of running profitable businesses. It only takes a season to realize that the margins of profit in agriculture are small. As producers seeking to work in more environmental and socially focused ways the revenue versus expenses lines in your budget are pretty hard to balance when you factor in fair wages and ecologically sound inputs.
Beyond the obvious goal the name implies, Ranching for Profit has been helping steward, train, and transition ranchers for nearly 40 years. The core of Ranching for Profit’s work is helping farmers make smart management decisions for running sustainable ranches while avoiding unnecessary work. Of course all these things lead to improving the farm business bottom line.
Founded in 1979 by Stan Parsons, whose father was a rare mix of rancher / banker, the younger Parson’s was inspired by his father’s emphasis that agriculture businesses should be able to stand on their own economic feet. Parsons spent a number of years in the academic and extension service world, eventually working with Alan Savory in developing his own approach to management practices.
Ranching for Profit is now run by Kathy and Dave Pratt and the the organization offers a range of courses, workshops, and training aimed at current and new ranchers. For more info head over to their site.