By Galen Chase
Broker/Owner, Chase Brothers, LLC Land & Ranch Brokerage
One quality of ranching that we appreciate the most is the legacy of a ranch that is passed down between generations. As we are experienced ranchers, cattlemen, and hunters ourselves, we know just how invaluable real experience is to running successful ranching operations. Experience matters, and the knowledge of your land’s heritage and history is crucial to ensuring your ranch continues to create opportunities for younger generations.
Diversifying your ranching operation is not only necessary to ensure a future, but it can help diffuse risk and create solid business opportunities. Weather challenges, market uncertainty, and fluctuating costs can all impact your ranching operation — don’t put all your eggs in one basket!
In our ranching operations, we welcome diversity in all things, and we understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. There are opportunities to diversify in livestock species, soil microbes, plant species, and even your daily routine. This handful of examples just begins to scratch the surface of what is possible!
It can be tough to know where to begin when looking at diversifying operations, and that’s why having an expert’s input can be helpful. The Chase Brothers team has decades of real ranch management experience, meaning not only can we help you find the right property for your operational needs, but we can also contribute ideas that can improve your ranch.
Most recently, one of our own team members, Byron Geis, took the leap to run sheep with his family’s cattle enterprise. Byron was raised on his family’s ranch in Campbell County, Wyoming, and is now looking to increase carrying capacity while better utilizing the land. You can hear about Byron’s experience directly from him and learn more about the factors that led him to embrace change and challenges within his own ranching operations. Byron and his family reintroduced sheep onto their ranch, which played a significant role in soil management.
As you can see in the video above, the smaller ungulates break down the brittle top layer of the topsoil, which is essential to helping moisture soak through to the root zone when the soil becomes capped. Decreasing bare ground and plant spacing with this tool is critical in reversing desertification of the low precipitation zones like we have in the arid and brittle landscapes of the American West.
What we saw in Byron’s experience is that having a desire to learn is just as important as having a passion for ranching! The combination of land management experience coupled with an understanding of the history and heritage of the land is the kind of experience that matters.
At the end of the day, the key to effectively diversifying is to find what works for you, your team, and your land. Only take on what you can manage, and don’t be afraid to look for external resources. Utilizing expert input from consultants, neighbors, or even appropriate agencies can help safeguard your strategy.
Contact the Chase Brothers Team
We have a lifetime of ranching experience, and whether you’re looking for answers about ranch management and sustainability or you’d like to learn more about buying or selling, we can help! Get in touch with our team today.
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Good points on the the ideas of diversifying your production