My son, Rial, and I are in Hawaii riding some horses for our friend, Nancy Jones. We had a nice discussion at supper and Rial expressed concerns about the world’s future. This got me thinking about solutions to the world’s challenges.
I wonder if the world leaders were all ranch managers if we could manage it for maximum production and maintain it for future generations.
The first thing we would need to figure out is available resources. The next thing would be to figure out how to manage those resources in a way that will create profit, investigate ways to increase resources, and decide the best methods to harvest those resources.
If I purchase a 1000 acre ranch it comes with a history. Its resources were managed in a way that those in control decided they wanted. When I take over I make the decision to keep operating in the same manner or to change it to what I want.
If I am going to raise livestock without any inputs from anything but this 1000 acres, I will need to be very careful about the number of animals I run on the ranch. In some cases it may be better to operate with a certain number of animals and bring in some outside inputs that I can purchase from another source with some of the profit I take in from selling my resources off the 1000 acres.
The previous management may have only ran 50 head of cows, did not manage grazing, did not irrigate, never made any repairs to improvements, and did not spend any money because they did not make any. They got along fine, but had a very hard life because there was not any money to purchase things that made life easier and they could never save enough to be secure.
I could possibly take this ranch and increase production dramatically. I could develop and improve the soils to create great forage with improved management and utilizing irrigation.
I could manage the grazing in a way to quadruple production. If done properly this could really make this a ranch that is going to improve soil fertility, ensure a high quality of life for the people involved on the ranch, and create an environment on the ranch that is comfortable in the present and will be improved in the future. The profit from the resources are split up into maintaining and improving infrastructure, creating a high quality of life for those involved with the ranch, training new help for the ranch, taking care of those that have worked on the ranch after they retire, and some of the profit should go to stockpiling resources for future use.
I could also take this same ranch and only think about taking as much as possible with no regard to what effect it is having on the soil or surrounding ranches. I could use as much fertilizer and chemical as possible, run as many animals as possible, only trying to get as much as I can as fast as I can. I may more than quadruple production and take as much profit as I can so I can live an extravagant lifestyle. I am not sure how long it will last, but I am going to get the most out of it I can.
From what I can tell, the Earth ranch is either the first or the third scenario. What I think we need to do is get to the second scenario. We need to utilize the world’s resources in way that works like a good ranch, combining Mother Nature with technology, then adding common sense and integrity.
The Earth is a big place. If there is a worldwide drought or if the animal units get to be more than capacity, we can’t haul in more feed or ship units off to another earth.
The Earth is only so big, and there are only so many resources. We can’t expand this ranch unless we go to space. We must manage with what we have.
I have seen many places with the same resources in which one outfit improves and prospers, and another beside it goes bankrupt. It is all about the management.
I think all the world leaders should go to a Ranching for Profit School. I and Jesse have both attended this school and many people I know have as well. It lays it out how to work with available resources to improve and prosper in many ways. Isn’t that what the world needs?
We need to be realistic with how we manage. Before ranching came along Mother Nature kept things in balance for the way the world worked.
I am not sure everyone on Earth will ever work together to make the ranch run smooth, but you and I can work on our division to make it the best, and just like on ranches I have worked on, this creates desire to improve from other ranch workers.
~ Curt Pate