How One Experienced Rancher Is Diversifying His Operation

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.

Why diversify?

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!

Experience Matters

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.

Like this article? Please feel free to share or post a link to your site:

by Christy Belton, ALC
Owner/Broker Ranch & Resort Realty

It’s difficult to describe all of the best things about owning a ranch – maybe it’s the legacy you leave, maybe it’s the time you spend with family working on the land. Perhaps it’s a great tax write off or maybe it’s simply a matter of pride of ownership.

For me, it’s the little things: It’s getting up in the morning as the sun rises over the mountains and heading outside, protected by several warm layers to feed my cows. I love the sounds of the sleigh bells tapping against the work horses and the runners on the feed sled cutting through the snow.

As winter gives way to spring, the baby calves running and bucking through the field, tails raised up like a flag, remind me of the optimism of new life.  A new hay crop grows at a pace I can almost see. The long days of summer and the fertile river-valley soils combine forces, to raise acres and acres of brilliant green native Timothy and Bromegrass.
It’s the time spent in the tractor, breathing in the smell of the fresh cut hay and watching the hawks perched on a hay bale waiting for a confused, doomed rodent to appear.

Some of the little things have turned out to be not-so-little.  Raising a child on a ranch, taking in young people and helping them to learn about hard work and respect for animals and sharing our experiences with others, certainly rank among the best things about having a ranch.

For great shots and videos of some of the best things about owning a Colorado ranch, follow me on Instagram at @christybelton.

Style Selector
Select the layout
Choose the theme
Preset colors
No Preset
Select the pattern