Determining success for yourself

Source: Farm Progress. The original article is posted here.

Determining success for yourself

When I agreed to write this blog, I had two focal points. First was to share about sell/buy marketing to help livestock owners make money. Secondly to raise awareness about cutting expenses, mainly keeping the siphon hose others use out of your checkbook. I was also encouraged to ruffle a few feathers. Nothing prepared me for what it would become.

Sell/buy marketing

While this journey has been a manic roller coaster, the feedback I get the most is this is about people improving themselves, and not just another generic checklist of “do these 10 things and you’ll boost your profits”.

I hear from people who have attended one of my schools all the time. The most common comment I get is that Sell/Buy marketing changed their life. I get it, it changed mine too after I learned it.

Life improvement

I have heard from people who got inspired by my story and started working out. After they stuck with it for a while, they noticed other things in their life began to improve. The discipline required to stick with a workout program has a way of cutting out the time wasters in a day. The discipline begins to change the self-image. When this happens the subconscious levels up and we get more focused on achieving the tasks we set out to do. This sets up a chain reaction of success breeding success in our lives.

I have heard from people who got inspired by the story I shared about the girl and the pancake mix. They donated food or money to a similar program aimed at feeding hungry children in their area.

The first two hours

I’ve heard from people that quit the cattle business and rented their place out. After reading some of my posts and hearing me on some podcasts they got back in the cattle business.

A couple of people contacted me a year after coming to one of my schools and told me the only reason they are still alive today is because of the material I cover in the first two hours of the schools.

Don’t give up

Earlier this week I spoke on the phone with someone who was 31 days sober because of the blog I wrote a month ago about making room for the things we want in our lives.

There are two things here. When we begin to work on ourselves and improve ourselves in one area of our life, we will also improve other areas of our lives, in time. This requires discipline to follow through. Discipline is the ability to give ourselves a command and follow through on it. If we do not follow through we reinforce the habit of quitting, or being a loser. This will settle in to our subconscious and begin to affect all areas of our lives as well.

Ripple effect

The second thing is the ripple effect. If we set out to do something and have some success at it, others will notice. Some will hate and others will get inspired.

There are two things we can control, our thinking and the amount of effort we put out. I tell my daughter every week to play her basketball games with enough effort that she is satisfied with herself at the end of the game. What is it that we are going to teach our kids? Do as I do, or do as I say?

In the markets

Female sales this week remained hot. Bred heifer prices averaged right around what a status quo producer would have invested in them (Nebraska sale prices and cost to keep). Almost 50 percent sold for more than a producer would have in them. Considering how poorly bred heifers have been selling for the last year I still consider this a good sign.

To finish out the bell curve of female prices the 3- and 4-year-olds sold 9.7 percent higher than bred heifers. Again, the five-year-old cows took the hardest hit selling 17 percent lower, or $500, back of the 3’s and 4’s. The average price for females over 5 was 4.7% less, or roughly $100. Five-year-olds on up sold right around their Intrinsic Value (IV). While $2,300 seems like a lot of money for a short solid cow, the IV is being supported by higher weigh cow prices and higher calf prices.

For the producer who has done a better job of holding their expenses down these females could be perceived as under-valued. If someone hasn’t been able to reduce carry costs it doesn’t mean they should get out of the cow/calf business, it means they need to do a better job marketing females. The market offered up plenty of opportunities to prosper this week due to the relationships that exist between age and gestation period.

Feeder markets

There is plenty being written on the feeder markets right now. Everyone has their pom poms out and are cheering about record high prices. The important thing is this week the Value of Gain (VOG) widened out. This is the welcome news as VOG was squished for a short while. High prices aren’t going to matter much if it costs more to put the weight on than what a cattleman is getting paid for feeding the weight on. I should make one thing clear to the PhD’s, having a sell price that is higher than the Cost of Gain does not signal a positive VOG. Understanding this is what separates a profitable cattleman from the talkers.

The opinions of Doug Ferguson are not necessarily those of, or Farm Progress.

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