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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

Pratt encourages planning

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Casper – Dave Pratt of the Ranching for Profit school emphasized that many ranch meetings that are held, but their results are frequently less than productive.

“We suggest holding one meeting a month to work on topics like, what is our profit for and what is our profit target,” commented Pratt. “We know that we’ve had a meeting if we produce a plan to which people will be held accountable.”

Pratt said that a plan should begin by listing the results expected from a specific action.

“Be specific,” he encouraged producers. “We need a measurable result. That might be a draft feasibility report of a heifer development enterprise, for example. We need those measurable results to be included in the plan.”

He also noted that prioritizing the components of the plan are also important.

“We use a priority scale, with one, three, five and 50,” he explained. “An item that is a five is really important and would produce a noticeable difference, and a 50 is a breakthrough that will make or break the business.”

Also included in the plan, said Pratt, should be a place to list the urgency of the item.

“We score urgency a one, three, five, seven or nine,” Pratt said. “The ones can wait a year, but the nines should have happened yesterday.”

“For example, if I have an estate plan that needs to be updated, but I’m in pretty good health, that would be a 50 in priority, but a one in urgency,” he said, as an example. “It doesn’t have to happen today, but we ought to get it done by the end of the year.”

Pratt also noted that assigning a specific person to each task is also important to ensuring that the task is completed. Introducing accountability allows participants in the meeting to complete tasks to improve the business.

Setting a deadline for each task in the plan is also important, according to Pratt, who noted that by having a plan is the best way to run a business.

“This is the way a business like IBM, for example, would do things,” he noted. “We are a family business, and in order to be a great business, it has to be a great business right now.”

Dave Pratt presented at the Making a Plan workshop held in Casper on Dec. 10. Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at

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