When your outgo excedes your income, your upkeep becomes your downfall

We’ve had a very busy week here at the /C. We finished three real estate deals, negotiated a contract for an exclusive with Zoetis in Canada. I drove to North Dakota and gave five presentations in three days, and Tammy flew to Arizona and spent the week riding and filming with Al Dunning, and working with Ernie Rodina and crew on starting her own tv show.

I had a great three days in North Dakota. The people and the country are really fitting to what I like. Honest, tell you what they think people that have to be a tough and giving as the country and the livestock they are the stewards of.

I was on the program with John Patterson and he was speaking on the technology of testing genetic potential in cattle, and I think JP is the one of the best speakers at connecting with an audience, presenting information that is valuable, as well as presenting technology that will take the livestock industry into the future. I heard his presentation four times and would go listen to it again tomorrow.

His talk was all about new technology, while mine was about stockmanship and stewardship, and I think it has been a very important part of livestock production since its beginning. So we had the old and the new. I feel it is so important to use both in today’s livestock production.

When I was young, my Father listened to a lot of self help tapes. I would have probably rather have been listening to country music (back when country was country)but I was forced to listen and now I am glad I did.

One of the tapes was by Jim Rodgers, and he was my favorite. He had a saying “when your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep becomes your downfall”. I mentioned this in a couple of my talks.

As I have thought about this in my life, I think it is a very good way to make decisions on how to run a business and live your life, and beings we are in inaugural week, a good way to run a country.

I keep reading how a load of calves is worth $70,000 dollars less this year than last year. Depending on your outgo, you will very thankful for last year and having the extra $70000, or wondering how the heck you are going to make things work without it.

I don’t think we have a lot of control over most of the money we are going to receive for our products in agriculture. So our control has to come from the production side. Most technology has an input cost in dollars. If you choose wisely, these dollars can increase production in a way that will increase profit.

The challenge is that just because someone says something will make you money, it does not mean it will make you money. There are always many things the person promoting the idea has no control of, all they are going on is what they know. You are the only one that can decide if your situation will make it work, and you need to be honest with yourself if there is a high enough probability that it will work, and you will put the effort into it to make it pay.

This is the place that stockmanship always comes into play. It does not cost money to use good stockmanship, but it can sure enhance production. Animals need to be physically and mentally able to benefit from the inputs we present them with.

If you vaccinate your calves, and they were so stirred up that their body’s couldn’t accept them, you just wasted the vaccine and probably made them sick trying to keep them from getting sick.

If you don’t have content animals they can’t reach their genetic potential.

If you are not getting your animals to eat and drink properly with proper management of feeding your are not getting the most out of the investment.

I hope you take a little time to think about the saying “when your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep becomes your downfall”. I feel it will really help in managing your business. It will also make a huge difference in the reduction of stress and improve quality of life in your day to day life. I hope President Trump listened to those tapes.

This is what stockmanship is. It’s not about cattlehandling, but handling cattle in a way that they become content and accept your inputs.

“My inputs are less than my outgo, so my upkeep ads to my quality of life” is a much more positive saying.

10 thoughts on “When your outgo excedes your income, your upkeep becomes your downfall

  1. Todd burger

    Simple and spot on. I appreciate your view of the future and technology does not guarantee profit

  2. Shelly Rahme

    Hey Curt. Greetings from Northern Ontario. I am enjoying your posts. I’m the lady who’s raising Grass fed beef and doing rotational grazing. Met you last summer in New Liskeard. I constantly learn new things about cattle and the land that we work together. I strive to keep everyone calm which equals healthy. It beats me why we waste so much vaccine while shipping stressed animals. This has become a focus for me as I work with new partners.

    1. curtpate Post author

      Keep up the good work. You don’t see many thin, gentle beef cattle. I’ve seen lots of thin wild or scared cattle on good feed. I hope I get to come back to Ontario this year, I really liked it.

  3. Alden Kruschke

    Excellent material and very timely. I wish I could of had your tapes on cattle handling fifty years ago. Keep up the good work.

    1. curtpate Post author


      Thank you, every one was great and did a good job of organizing good meetings. Lots of cattle represented.

  4. Todd McCartney

    Solid advice Curt. Thank you!
    But I do have 2 quick questions:
    1.) Is it true John Patterson will actually pay a fella to say nice things about him in public?
    2.). Is Jim Rodgers that same motivational speaker that lives in a van down by the river?
    I’ll hang up and listen to your reply.

    1. curtpate Post author


      The introductions of all the places he’s worked and all the things he has done takes longer then the presentation, so he probably does.

      I am not sure about Jim Rodgers, but Ann Barnhart for sure!

      Looking forward to next week in Nashville

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