Ready. Set. Go! Just like that, my husband I were in the cattle business. A shared passion of ours flourished into a reality few are fortunate enough to experience. Even so, with the excitement our new venture brought sitting down to discover what exactly what we wanted to accomplish — what would our first set of operational goals look like?
Seeking wise council from relatives and friends, we soon learned goal setting is much more complex than I imagined. Needless to say, the assignment for my story in the January issue of The Cattleman could not have come about at a better time. With a couple of great sources and an arsenal of questions, we were off to the races.
I was fortunate enough to interview Craig Watson, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association member and lawyer, to begin my pursuit in addressing my curiosity regarding goal setting on the ranch. Craig has been raising cattle in one way or another since the ’90s and with experience in law and public accounting, his perspective was quite revealing.
“My goals are to be sustainable economically and ecologically,” he explains. “I want to be responsible for the soil and the resources and leave it better than I found it, but I require that I also make a profit.”
Fortunately enough for Craig and myself, members of Noble Research Institute exist to aid in that mission. Hugh Aljoe was able to shed light on where some of the principles I learned from Craig originated. Noble Research Institute is responsible for advising farmers and ranchers across the country as well as operating vast farming and ranching enterprises.
“The key is to have a good management plan in place that you have specific goals that you’re trying to achieve from year to year that build upon themselves,” Hugh advises. “We want to obtain these fundamental activities, make them sound in our management practices, and then we go to the next level. Continue to improve upon those areas where we know that there is need for improvement that’s also going to have an economic return.”
Want more? See “Ready, Set, Goals” in this month’s issue of The Cattleman for a their suggestions for strategic planning to ensure success in 2020.
Kayla Jennings is a freelance writer from Throckmorton.