Dave Pratt has transferred a passion for teaching and innovative research after 15 years at California Extension Service to ranch consulting, and has taught more than 150 Ranching for Profit courses across the states and Canada. Pratt will be in Nebraska for four day-long workshops, discussing characteristics of highly profitable ranch businesses. He will help participants increase their profits and sustainability through business, finances, and people management strategies.
Such strategies include trimming “deadwood” or money draining enterprises from the ranch. Working in the business versus working on the business is the difference between the CEO’s job ($100/hr) and the hired man’s job ($10/hr).
Techniques to improve communication at home and in your business will help keep and train employee/family members.
Everyone keeps track of finances for the tax man, but what else can the numbers show you.
Pratt says there are only three things a rancher can do to increase profit:
1. Decrease the overhead costs.
2. Improve the gross margin per unit.
3. Increase the turnover (the number of units).
But only one of these three things is the most important. If high overheads are the problem, increases in production efficiency are likely to increase your work load but may not significantly increase profit. If gross margin is the problem, then decreasing overheads won’t have much effect and increasing turnover may actually help you go broke faster.
It isn’t enough to know the numbers, he says, a rancher needs to find out what the numbers mean.
Businesses of all stages are welcome to attend Pratt's seminar at Valentine, where Pratt will focus on ranchers starting up.
All the same principles apply, but all start-up businesses, including ranches, face additional challenges that Pratt will address in Valentine.
Communication may also be needed as the next generation transitions onto the ranch.
For more about Pratt and the seminars, see www.ranchmanagement.com.
Pratt will be in North Platte Jan. 25 from 2-8 p.m. at Synder classroom at the West Central Research and Extension Center. Rick Funston, UNL Beef Specialist, will also talk about heifer enterprises.
Pratt will also speak:
• Jan. 26, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Thedford, Thomas County Fairbuilding.
• Jan. 27, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Broken Bow, Broken Bow Country Club.
• Jan. 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Valentine, Cedar Canyon.
His appearances are sponsored by UNL Extension, Sandhills Cattle Association, Lincoln County and Nebraska Cattlemen, Security First Bank of Thedford and Valentine, the Bank of Broken Bow, Adams Bank and Trust, First National Bank of North Platte, Equitable Bank of North Platte, Farmers State Bank Wallace and North Platte, American Mortgage Company, Farm Credit Services of America, Nebraskaland National Bank and Nebraska State Bank.
Registration is $50 per person ($75/couple) for the daylong workshop.
To pre-register for a meal count, contact Randy Saner at 308.532.2683 for North Platte, Bethany Johnston at 308.645.2267 or 1.800.657.2113 for Thedford, Troy Walz at 308.872.6831 for Broken Bow, and Jay Jenkins at 402.376.1850 or 1.800.657.2188 for Valentine.