The seemingly simple term “rancher” is commonly misinterpreted. The term rancher may bring to mind a guy riding a bucking bull or horse in a western movie or maybe a tough looking guy without much brains raising cattle on the prairie. Other people think of a farmer. Actual ranchers specifically raise cattle, while farmers raise crops, hogs, and poultry. Modern ranchers are hardworking men and women who live off the land raising cattle for consumers. Despite popular beliefs, it takes a lot of knowledge to raise cattle. American ranchers use business and technology skills to raise cattle. Even with these skills, they are still at the mercy of Mother Nature and gamble with her every year.
Ranching goes beyond chasing cows and riding horses. Ranchers are businessmen. They carefully manage their operation's expenses, income, and taxes like other typical businessmen. Income only comes once a year when they sell their calves in the fall. Therefore, each dollar is spent wisely on equipment, feed, and advertising.
Ranches use a lot of expensive equipment. This includes tractors, trailers, and trucks. Each purchase is carefully made. Some equipment gives a better return than others do. For instance, new cattle working equipment can save time, which equals less expenses in wages, while a new tractor does not always decreases cost. Ranchers consider these factors just like a factory decides what equipment to buy that will in return increase profits.
Feed makes up a good portion of a ranch’s expenses. Rising feed costs make ranchers jobs challenging. Due to corn being used for fuel, corn prices have skyrocketed, forcing ranchers to come up with new byproduct feeds like cottonseed, distillers grain, potatoes, and sunflower screenings. Ranchers use their business skills and knowledge to carefully budget feed costs. With any business, expenses have to be kept low, which requires thinking resourcefully.
Advertising is a large component to a ranches expenses. The cattle ranchers produce need to be marketed...