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.

Negatives never create positives

I spoke about goals earlier and when people disagree it’s because of a different goal or outcome desired. I think it will be worth a little time discussing some of my goals before I upset you or waste your time.

In the “Here we go again” post I said I like the environment, animals and people so I would like to visit about each a little more.

I consider myself an avid environmentalist. I am not worried about the earth, she will get along fine no matter what. The thing that is important is keepin it so us humans can have a good quality of life. In much of the world the ecosystem thrived because of grazing animals and all that was a part of the system. No matter the climate grazing animals were a part of maintaining or rebuilding the ecosystem. It looks to me like we need grazing animals, and beings we have cities and fences, we humans are now in control of what nature took care of before we took control.

If you think about it our cattle have replaced the Buffalo, sheep and goats have replaced the deer and elk, and the human has replaced the wolf and bear. If we go about it right and manage our livestock properly, we can do a great job of keeping the environment thriving with our grazing animals, and also turn excess farming production into high quality protein. It needs to be a balanced system and supply and demand help keep the balance. It’s a great system and we are getting better at understanding the importance of manure to keep the system going.

I have never been without animals in my life. My wife says I worry about animals feelings and well being more than humans. I don’t feel that way, but I do feel like when you take on the responsibility of caring for an animal and putting a fence around it, we must do our best to give them a high quality of life, and for them to perform for us they must be content and in a relaxed way much of the time. I get a lot of satisfaction out of the study of animal behavior and how to get them to do as good as possible in the environment I create for them. Being able to understand how to keep an animal doing well, staying healthy, and living a quality life is real important to me. I don’t think a wolf thinks or cares about these things. So, I feel that no matter if I have my animals in confinement or out on the range it is my management that creates quality. I am working on improving my stockmanship, and trying to control my wolfmanship.

I’ve never been without people in my life either, and I really like most of them. The reason we are where we are is the ability to reason. Then we have the ability to discuss and improve ideas with communication. For some reason I have been given the opportunity to share some of my ideas with you. I want you to know I won’t be offended if you don’t agree. I know I am really whole heartily trying to do my best to give you something that will improve your quality of life, as well as animals you come in contact with and the environment.

Remember we all have different goals and ideas of what we want for an outcome. We may even have the same goal, but different skills so we go about it differently to get the same end product. The main thing is to try to figure out what works best for you, without to much negative.

I’ll finish with a story. I was Visiting with Milly Hunt Porter, an author of horse books several years ago, and we were discussing some horseman being hard on people. A popular saying was ” I’m here for the horse and whatever is left over you can have”, or something like that. (I am not sure it was not misunderstood in the way it was said). She asked Tom Dorrance ( a real good human to animals and people) if that’s the way he felt and he got real serious and animated like he would when making a point and said “Oh no, negatives never make positives”. That really stuck with me and I feel it is real important to keep things positive. So, that’s my goal with people, animals and the environment.


This is is a demonstration Ron Gill got me involved with.  The Fort Worth Stockyards is my favorite place to visit.  There are great ways to entertain yourself in everything western, but the best part for me is the history.  “The Herd” is a big part of keeping the stockmanship tradition alive with two cattle drives every day.  We gave them some ideas on keeping those great longhorn steers handling safely and traditionally.  It was a great honor for me to be involved.  Check out “Ranch TV.orgfor lots of good info from Dan Hales team.


Here we go again

Well here we go again. It’s been three years since I have done a regular writing on this site.

I’m not sure what I am going to do, but I am going to do more. I am going to write some and I’m going to try to put more video up. Tammy has filmed lots of work and we will share some of that, and I purchased a go pro and I will do some with that.

Hopefully I am going to expose you to some things to think about and decide if they work for you, or if you agree or disagree. I really like animals, and I really like people, and I really like the environment, so it’s natural that I like to share thoughts on the things I like. That’s a lot of likes.

The thing I wonder about is what gives me the right to do this, and what makes me qualified?

When I go do a demonstration, the thing that makes me qualified is that the person in charge of doing it thinks I have the skills to present livestock handling. If someone decided to come and watch, they have the decision to make if I am qualified enough to stay and watch. ( there’s been plenty that haven’t). The real nice thing that shows some degree of qualification is if you go back and do it again, or someone wants to see more.

There are lots of critics out there. I used to be quite critical of folks methods myself. After studying on it for several years I realized I was wrong. They had different goals than I did, or a different agenda, so naturally we do things different. So what I try to do is give my opinion in a way that gets my goals across, but in as positive way I can figure out.

People take things way to personal. If you like to one rein stop and bend your horse a whole bunch, have at it. I’m not going to, and if you ride my horse, your not going to either. If your horse is handier than mine, and lives longer and is healthier thats great. I’m pretty happy with my horsemanship, but I would sure like it to be better.

With the cattlehandling, same deal. I am real confident that I can go work snorty bucking bulls,
Settle wild weaned calves in Hawaii, get better flow in a dairy, and pull a sick animal out of a pen in a Feedyard. I feel like I can fit in with any crew and not embarrass myself.

I’ve worked with and learned from some great stockman. I have been so fortunate that my whole life has been in the company of livestock and livestock people.

You can call all this stuff what you want. Low stress cattle handling, natural horsemanship, whatever. Those are just words. I will let those that want to talk and write about what others do have their say. Myself I’m going to step right into the pen and try to “make a hand”. I hope these writings and videos will help you as well.