Today’s Ranch: Cell Grazing and Three Secrets for Increasing Profit | TSLN.com

Today’s Ranch: Cell Grazing and Three Secrets for Increasing Profit

Dave Pratt, an internationally-known grazing and sustainable ranching expert, will present a one-day pasture and ranch business management workshop in Big Timber, Mont., this month.

Pratt is the owner of the Ranching for Profit schools and Ranch Management Consultants. The workshop will offer condensed versions of two of Pratt's most popular courses: "The ins and outs of cell grazing" and "Three secrets to increasing your profit."

The event begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23 at the American Legion in Big Timber. Lunch will be served, and the event will adjourn at 3:30 p.m. On-site registration will be available, but pre-registration is appreciated for meal planning. Registration is $25 per person or $40 per couple.

Nathan Anderson, president of the Crazy Mountain Stockgrowers Association, said the local stockgrowers regularly support continuing education for its members. Partnering with the Livingston-based Western Sustainability Exchange (WSE) offered an opportunity to welcome one of the most sought-after and well-respected educators on grazing management in North America to Big Timber.

"If people are interested in looking at techniques that will help build healthier pastures and make decisions that impact the financial well-being of their ranch, this should add a few more tools to their belt to make that happen," Anderson said.

Pratt's workshops examine practical, applicable pasture management principles focused on increasing soil health, building drought resilience, growing forage availability without costly inputs and other techniques to help the ranch achieve its business goals.

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Anderson and his wife attended one of Pratt's full "Ranching for Profit" schools last year.

"One of the most important things I learned from going through the Ranching for Profit School Is that change is possible; don't be stuck in a rut," Anderson said. "We learned to ask ourselves questions: 'Why are we doing what we do, and how does it affect our business? What can we do to make our business more profitable?' When you start asking those questions, you can make a huge impact on your pastures and your business."

Jesse Tufte, WSE's Resilient Ranching program coordinator, said their organization recognizes a key component of sustainable ranching is economic success.

"If we can help keep family ranches intact and sustainable, that means they can stay on the land and maintain those ecosystems that benefit healthy soils, wildlife habitats, water quality and rural communities," Tufte said. "But the business has to be thriving for everything else to work, too."

Ranchers who have previously attended a Ranching for Profit school or other Dave Pratt workshop will find the one-day course to be a valuable refresher or an opportunity to re-hash ideas they haven't implemented yet. Newcomers will get a valuable introduction to Pratt's grazing principles with immediate take-home ideas.

"All the on-the-ground decision making in pasture management he talks about goes directly back to financial success," Anderson said. "There is no golden ticket – he's not going to say, 'you have to do this or that to make your ranch successful.' But he'll offer some tools and get you more curious about how you can use them to fit your own ranch."

Event sponsors encouraged participants to consider attending the workshop with their spouse, a member of the next generation or business partner.

"Going through the workshop as a ranch team makes the training more valuable," Tufte said. "It's a low-cost investment for a high-level training on using sustainable ranching to increase your bottom line."

For more information, contact Jesse Tufte at jtufte@wsestaff.org or (406) 599-0188. Pre-registration at http://www.westernsustainabilityexchange.org/events/ is encouraged.

–Crazy Mountain Stockgrowers, Western Sustainability Exchange