T hink of us as your partners in the business of ranching. Cade Ranch Consulting is a lot of things, but most of all we are your advisor, strategist, braintrust, knowledge base, troubleshooter, planner, and, yes, partner in solving or handling all your ranching needs. We even do the hands-on work, by the hour, day, week, month, season, or longer, if that’s what you need from us. We have the connections, the expertise, the skill sets, and the labor pool to tackle any ranch project. We’ve done it all, and excelled in all areas. Now we want to extend that excellence to your ranch, which we know is the seat of your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. Together, we’ll help you get there. We’ll help you become that steward of the land that you deserve to be. And we’ll help you create value in your prized investment. We’ll be doing our best, and working our hardest, to create efficiencies, improvements, and gains that deliver, in profitability, what we hope will be many times the cost of our own services. We think we can be the best investment you ever made.
The worst phrase to any rancher, ranch hand, or property owner is, “I need to fix the fence.” These words mean a lot of grief, and a lot of money. Whether you’re keeping livestock in, or keeping them out just depends on which side of the fence you’re on.
We’ve got to have fences to keep our livestock where they need to be.
There will be no more land. God gave us what we need. It is ours to do with as we see fit. What is your plan for your land? If you would like your kids or grandkids to have it, you must think about the shape will it be in when that time comes.
Some who are reading this may be new land owners, and some may have had family land for generations. It doesn’t matter what your circumstances – we all need to protect what we have. My daddy’s family settled in Kent County, Texas, in 1854.
Brush control is a practice that pays off today and pays off tomorrow as well. It pays off today in the monetary return you see when your herd grazes your well-conserved pastures. Land that is sufficiently free of brush grows more and better grass, and that is a benefit that goes straight to your bottom line. Land that is sufficiently free of brush commands a higher value on the real estate market, and that is the longer-term advantage that will benefit you throughout your life, and benefit the individuals to whom you sell or pass on your property, when that time comes. Take a moment to read my thoughts on Range Conservation for more on that subject.
This subject is near and dear to my heart. Let me explain – I’ve seen operations with absolutely beautiful corrals built stout enough to hold elephants, only we couldn’t get the cattle to cooperate. I’ve seen operations with corrals held together by baling wire and the cattle ran as smooth as silk. Why? It’s all about FLOW.
Cattle are like us (to a certain extent) in that they are going to take the path of least resistance.
You don’t get into herd management without a herd to manage. After buying the land, buying the herd will be the most expensive part of the operation. What is your preferred breed? Will you buy registered or grade (non-registered) bulls? Identifying your short and long-term goals will help you to answer these questions. How do you see your ranch looking a year from now? Five years? Ten years? Once you’ve got your cattle, how will you run your herd? You must determine your strategies for breeding, heifer replacement and calving. There are many, many decisions to make, and you cannot run your herd efficiently without a plan.
As producers, we must maintain the health of our cattle, and for more than just the obvious reasons. Health equals value, of course, but it goes deeper than that. Healthy cattle gain weight, conceive, carry their calves full term, give birth unassisted, produce milk for the calf to grow, maintain their own body weight, and, finally, healthy cattle breed back. Cows that breed back have calves that are more likely to be productive and robust. Healthy cattle make the rancher MONEY.
It was an idea that was new to me, and I was hooked from the start. Cattle Rotation. Also known as Pasture Rotation. I heard about it back when I was while enrolled in the Ranch Management Program at TCU. Moving cattle from one pasture to another? New idea. Our instructors told us you could extend your grazing time by 20 to 50 percent. This sounded good. After touring ranches all over Texas, and seeing this new idea in practice, I was hooked.
Processing. That’s a big word for working cattle. If you’ve readabout Cade Ranch Consulting’s other services, this should go good – if not, you might want to check out Corral Design first.
If you’ve one everything right up to this point, then it shouldn’t be too hard to learn to process cattle. Cattle like taking it nice and slow, so handling them in a calm manner is the aim. We know they can find their way through the corrals, because you’ve established good flow.
Graduate of Texas Christian University Ranch Management Program, 1975
From TCU’s Institute of Ranch Management:
For over 60 years, the TCU Ranch Management Program has been recognized as the premier resource management and ranching program in the world. Participants learn to economically and practically manage agricultural assets while becoming exposed to technological advancements, worldwide marketing and production practices, which offer virtually unlimited rewards to the professional who is prepared to help shape the future.
Recipient of “Outstanding Rancher” Award (pictured right), presented by Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Texas (Region 1), for outstanding accomplishment in the conservation of soil, water and related resources.