ESSENTIALISM – RanCHING FOR PROFIT

Another excellent blog from Dallas Mount who now owns and operates Ranch Management Consultants aka Ranching for Profit. Although i’m most interested in the ranching bent to this business, many of the articles written by Dallas, Dave Pratt, former owner, and Stan Parsons, creator and former owner of Ranching for Profit are easily applied to any business or home life decision making.

You can spend money buying books or shelves or containers to declutter or you can save money by making better decisions. Starting with ‘do i really need this?’ then follow up by selling, giving away, recycling, upcycling, renovating, throwing away the stuff you haven’t used in ‘x’ amount of time. If you don’t do it now, it’s called hoarding and whatever value it might have will be lost to you and to whoever may be able to use the item to start a business or help their lives be better. Before you know it, 40, 50, 60 years have passed, and the item is obsolete and worthless. Now, that’s a waste and selfishness!

Essentialism

by Dallas Mount

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Each fall and winter our Executive Link meetings start with a continuing education program. We usually reach for something outside the ranching world that our members would not otherwise be exposed to. Often this is a book from business management circles. This fall our book is Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. The book challenges us to think about all the things we do in our busyness. Then develop focus by cutting out the trivial and finding the essential.  

In agriculture it is easy to constantly pile on more to our already busy lives. When you step back to really analyze what makes the difference in your life or your business, there are really only a few things at the core of what you do and who you are, that matter. This is the essential. McKeown challenges the reader to think of the things in your life, like you would clothes in the closet. Often, we cull the closet by asking the question “Is there a chance I’ll wear this someday in the future?” When using that broad criterion, we end up with a closet full of Garth Brooks 90’s era neon colored Brush Poppers. McKeown suggests changing the question to “Do I absolutely love this?” allowing us to eliminate the clutter to create space for something better.

I often hear from ranchers that are too “busy” with the daily tasks on the ranch to come to a school, or work on their numbers. What they are saying is that they are too busy to find time to complete the high value work that will make the difference in their businesses long term success or failure. This is a perfect application of McKeown’s assertion that an Essentialist separates and focuses on the vital few from the trivial many.  

In ag, the unspoken culture tends to value work, misery and sacrifice over financial success and healthy work-life balance. I often hear stories being swapped where we are competing over who has the ranch that creates more misery and work then the next. We tend to wear it as a badge of honor, who has to work the longest hours in the harshest weather. Maybe it is long days in the hay field, calving in the winter or feeding our way through the ongoing drought. If you want to get uninvited to the coffee shop pity party ask the question, “Why do you choose to structure your business in a way that creates these challenges?” We need to find the courage to push back on this culture of unsustainable work, coupled with unrewarding results. 

If you want to dive in and examine the essential in your life, here are a few questions to get you started. Take 10 minutes, write down your answers and share them with your spouse or confidant. 

  • What if your business could only do one thing, what would it be?  
  • Where do your passions, purpose, and skill set align? 
  • What specific things will you eliminate to create time to focus on the essential few?

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For the LOVE of Horses

Since i was not much more than a toddler, i’ve loved horses, loved riding them, showing them in local shows, mustering in cattle (that’s my favorite), training, and trail riding. In junior high and high school, i was so crazy about horses that my nickname was ‘horsey’!

This neat article is published in the most recent issue of Rural Missouri. I studied this guy because he is from my home town, Mexico, Missouri.

For the Love of Horses

The extraordinary life of rider and trainer Tom Bass

Rural Missouri Page 40

Rural Missouri Page 42

The Furrow – Year 1916

No worries, i’ve done the due diligence and checked with John Deere to get permission to reprint articles from this fabulous magazine which is still coming to our home four times a year. Fortunately, i received the very friendly return e-mail:

East Anne <EastAnneK@johndeere.com 3 August 2020 8:24 am

Hi Tauna,

Thanks for reaching out.  I did some research and as it turns out, anything pre-1925 is in the public domain.  While it might be on you to reach out to anyone mentioned or authored (who would be deceased by now), you don’t need our permission.

I also live in Missouri and the weather today is FABULOUS!  Happy blogging.

Anne East
Content Marketing Manager
Agriculture & Turf, Region 4
Olathe, KS
Phone: 913.310.8293

Here is the old magazine in its entirety! Enjoy.

Family Farmers

Thanks to the Missouri Rural Crisis Center for bringing this informative article to light.

View this email in your browser
MRCC member Jeff Jones co-wrote this opinion that appeared in the High Plains Journal with our allies within the Campaign for Family Farms & the Environment (CFFE).

Our members, independent family farmers and rural communities, are suffering and are demanding policies that will help.

This current and historical pain is due to “government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations”.

And, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Join MRCC and the fight for “government of the people, by the people, for the people”.

Thank you Jeff, for joining with other farmers in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota and daring to speak truth to corporate power

 *CFFE is comprised of Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Land Stewardship Project (MN), Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. Dakota Rural Action (SD), Food and Water Watch and Institute for Ag and Trade Policy. Meatpacking corporations cash in on pandemic while family farms and consumers foot the billAug 21, 2020For most Americans, the fallout from the pandemic offered a crash course in how supply chains work (or rather, don’t work), especially in the meat supply. Suddenly grocery stores were rationing how much pork and beef each person could purchase, and consumers could no longer depend on getting the meat they needed at their local store. While the general public may have been shocked to see how quickly the meat supply grinded to a halt, farmers and ranchers, like us, were not.Just a handful of multinational companies, including Smithfield (China), Tyson (U.S.) and JBS (Brazil), control a critical step in the supply chain for pork and beef slaughter and processing. This industrial system hinges on a small number of massive slaughterhouses and processing plants, and these facilities are uniquely vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19.  With hundreds of workers standing shoulder to shoulder during a grueling and frenzied eight-hour shift, it is nearly impossible to practice protective measures like social distancing, which is why more than 17,300 meat and poultry processing workers in 29 states were infected with COVID-19 in April and May alone.Through it all, the big meat companies used threats of empty store shelves to resist calls to protect their workers by slowing down processing lines or temporarily closing plants. While the news media showed pictures of empty meat cases in grocery stores, meat supplies were being exported from the U.S. to other countries and a historic amount of meat sat in cold storage. This is the result of years of overproduction, which the meatpackers intentionally fuel to drive down prices paid to family farmers.Big meat companies increased their profits during this unprecedented crisis, even as independent family farm livestock producers were paid less, workers were put at greater risk, and consumers paid more for food staples. In one recent example, the June price for a steer going to market from the feedlot was more than $200 lower than it has been for the last several years. Yet, the price of beef at grocery stores just saw the largest monthly increase ever recorded.Things are so bad for livestock producers that several members of Congress and state attorneys general have called for investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice. If done in good faith, these long-overdue investigations will confirm what farmers and ranchers like us have known for a long time: These companies rig the system to both increase their profits and deepen their control of livestock markets.But we need more than investigations. Our elected officials can act today to take on these global meat corporations and support workers and family farmers during this challenging time by making sure pandemic response assistance goes to independent family farmers who need it to survive, not multinational corporations making a racket. We also must protect workers by establishing enforceable workplace safety and health standards, preventing retaliation for reporting infection control problems or taking sick leave, and requiring tracking and public reporting of COVID-19 outbreaks in workplaces.To help family farms, lawmakers should set rules that allow independent livestock producers and small and mid-sized packing plants to compete on a level playing field by finalizing the USDA Farmer Fair Practice Rules. We also need to establish a moratorium on new agribusiness and food industry mergers to stop excessive corporate control from getting even worse and reinstate mandatory Country of Origin Labeling so U.S. consumers have the option to choose U.S. born, raised and processed meat.Lastly, we need to stop public taxpayer funding of corporate factory farms that fuel the corporate takeover of the meat system. With livestock backing up on farms because of supply chain disruption, this is no time to build more large-scale factory farms. Factory farms flood the market, push prices down and independent family farmers out, and exist to feed these giant corporate slaughterhouses.One of the many lessons we have learned from this global pandemic is that it matters who controls our food system. Right now, it’s a few multinational conglomerates that write the rules and extract every cent of wealth they can from family farmers, workers and consumers. Instead, we need a democratic, decentralized industry that benefits and lifts-up independent family farmers, consumers, our national and food security, and environment.The multinational meat companies who created this mess must not be the ones who decide what happens next for our food supply. It’s got to be all of us.*Barb Kalbach, fourth generation family farmer and Iowa CCI member from Adair County, Iowa; Jefferson Jones, fourth generation cattle, grain and hay farmer, Missouri Rural Crisis Center member, Callaway County, Missouri; John Harter, livestock producer, Dakota DRA chairperson, Winner, South Dakota; Darrel Mosel, cattle, soybean and corn farmer, Land Stewardship Project member, Gaylord, Minnesota.Join MRCC HERE
Copyright © 2020 Missouri Rural Crisis Center, All rights reserved.
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Texas Sheet Cake by June

TODAY is June’s 101st birthday! Yup, i made this recipe for cake and we’ll take it to her and celebrate by visiting, unfortunately through the glass wall at the nursing home. 😦

i didn’t have enough butter to make icing and didn’t have powdered sugar, so had to improvise using what i had and substituted with my home made vanilla yoghurt and castor sugar. hoping it turns out okay.

Tannachton Farm

Nearly every birthday my children had, especially as they grew older, they would request that their Great Aunt June Lamme would make them a chocolate Texas Sheet Cake.  Yummy!  I made it for the boys’ October birthdays this year (2019) for a small gathering at our traditional weiner roast birthday celebration.

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Grandma’s Texas Sheet Cake

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb of soda)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

Bring to boil: butter, water, and cocoa.  Sift flour, sugar, soda, salt into a mixing bowl.  Pour in boiled mixture and mix.  Then add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Pour batter into a buttered 15″ x 12″ pan.  Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 18-20 minutes.

*i rarely have buttermilk on hand, add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to…

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