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How to Not go Broke Ranching: Things I Learned the Hard Way in Fifty Years of Ranching Paperback – October 25, 2011
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About the Author
Walt Davis spent more than fifty years as a working rancher in Texas and Oklahoma. He has lived all of the joys and all of the sorrows that go with ranch life and it is his unbiased opinion that ranching is (depending on how it is done) either the world’s best way to make a living or an unending struggle against nature that will break the strongest spirit. Walt grew up in a ranching family and was exposed early on to ranching as it had been practiced in west Texas for many years. After a degree in animal husbandry from Texas A&M College, he took over management of a ranch in southeast Oklahoma. It soon became apparent that there were major flaws in ranch management as he had been taught in college. Walt started searching for “a better way.” He soon realized that agriculture is a biological rather than an industrial process. This book is an outgrowth of that search and its’ results. Walt and wife Diann live on a small place on the outskirts of Calera Oklahoma; Walt consults with ranchers and other land managers over a wide area, he teaches seminars, and writes columns for the Farm Progress family of magazines; after a bad fall curtailed his activities, he finalized How to Not Go Broke Ranching and is working on The Gyp Lease Tales and Other Lies (collection of short sketches of ranch life) and The Gathering at Oak Creek, a novel set in the west Texas ranch country. Contact Walt at www.waltdavisranch.com.
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I should point out that his definition of managing for profit is holistic and includes the health of the rancher, financial health, and the health of the ranch ecosystem. Get the book you won't be disappointed. It won't make you an instant expert, but it sure has been helpful to me.
Yesterday, with the help of a bunch of friends we caught a cow that ran away last month. I ended up running more than a mile bushwhacking across the mountain side desperately trying to turn her out of the brush. That wild cow can jump like a deer. In the end we got her into a neighbor's partially fenced field and pushed her up against a cliff where my best friend who is a wizard with a rope managed to lasso her. The cow did her best to choke herself to death on the rope. I waded in for a dance. Right hand on a horn to hopefully avoid getting my guts dumped on the ground and with the left I snagged the rope and pulled it up over her nose while Noe gave me some slack in the line. The cow gave a wild lunge the lasso snapped shut tight around her horns and somehow I didn't end up with an arm trapped in the loop. With the help of my blue heeler/pit bull dog we got the cow into the corral.
This morning she was gone, and had taken a bull with her... I think I'll take Mr. Davis' advice. I'll manage for profit. That means the cow goes to the butcher or somebody else's ranch ASAP.
If you want to drop by and help catch her you're welcome. I don't care if you use a rope or a .30-30.