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How does a Beef Ranch Stay in Business?
Simple answer: income greater than
expenses and needed reserves. Makes
running a beef ranch seem simple.

This was the problem I encountered when I
took over farming. Most (and we still do, at
this point) maintain a second job away from
the farm. Because (as "everybody
conventionally knows") you keep farming
until the money runs out. It's that second
job which pays the costs of farming when
the crop doesn't.

It's the commoditized base of farming which is keeping dirt-poor farmers dirt-poor.

We studied this over and over and kept coming up to the same conclusion. Getting big doesn't
make your farm more profitable. Studies show that about 300 acres is the max on cost breaks
with the income/expenses leverage. More acres above that and you are doing longer hours
with the same basic cost per acre. It's how many acres can you farm to replace your day job
income. Not less hours or easier work.

Now you have to get smart about what you are doing. We really have nothing bad to say about
corn-fed/lot-finished beef (other than it has no taste, really). But if you are selling a lot of
bland burgers at a discount price, this is exactly what you want. And that is the commodity
beef business. Why packers are vertically integrating to cut out middleman costs.

Our difference with them is that when we started crunching numbers, we found that our best
profit point was to get away from corn-fed beef entirely. Half our annual crop was going to pay
for feed costs. The next year we made more money simply selling them as feeders (just
weaned) and stayed in the warm house more often than filling grain feeders in the middle of
winter and fixing broken/frozen water lines.

The next breakthrough was learning we could almost double that by simply selling them as
yearlings (one year old) to other people who had feed lots with cheaper corn and hated staying
inside all winter. Kept my weaned calves on hay with the other cows and calves and we still


              Visit http://worstellfarms.com for more information.
stayed in the warm house more.

The next point was finding that if we manage our grazing and have leftover tall grass in the
pastures, we can make less hay and so take my expenses even further down. That's because
we're moving to grass-fed beef with managed grazing (ultimately right on up to ultra-high-
density stocking aka "mob" grazing) .

                                    Funny thing is: the more naturally we raise our beef, the
                                    cheaper it gets to raise it. So farm profits rise. It's not "buy
                                    more land and work longer and harder", it's "manage what
                                    we have smarter and work less".

                                    Of course, the next up from that is where you come in.
                                    Where we sell directly to the client, and keep them happy
                                    with what they get, we can make more than we would when
                                    we send them to the auction. Not a lot more, but it will
                                    make our farm more and save you a lot more by getting you
                                    to buy higher quality beef that you can inspect yourself for
                                    much less than you would pay else where for similar or
                                    lesser quality.

                                   If you buy the whole cow direct from us, we can get you
                                   600 pounds of beef for about $2.00 a pound (right this
                                   second, anyway - prices change all the time). And that's the
                                   average price of the Gawd-knows-where-it-came-from-or-
                                   how-it-got-here variety hamburger in the supermarkets.
                                   And you get steaks and roasts and filets-mignon's all for
the price of that questionable hamburger.

But all that beef won't fit in the average home freezer. And it's a huge chunk of cash to spend
at once. So we use a local marketer to find clients and we sell the beef to four people at once.
They each drive off with about 150 pounds. But it costs them a little more per pound so that
the marketer makes enough to keep selling this stuff, and our farm still gets a little above
sending it all to auction.

The answer is still the same. We keep figuring out how to help Nature do what She does best,
and She rewards me in the marketplace with more of this funny green stuff that cattle won't
eat and bankers will.

That's how our farm stays in business.


                                              ----


  For more data on raising pasture fed beef, as well as other information on prime beef as
                       health food – visit http://worstellfarms.com


               Visit http://worstellfarms.com for more information.
About Worstell Farms
Our family goes back on both sides with
farmers. As far as we can trace.

And that tradition came to Mexico,
Missouri around 1960 to purchase the
current farming operation.

Jim and Laura Worstell established a
working farm there and then, and raised a
big family of 8 kids, along with several
dogs, cats, and an occasional pet squirrel
or raccoon. And don't forget the llama's
and peacocks...

In 2000, Robert Worstell returned to the
farm to take over operations management
(as well as the day-to-day chores) and
shares these duties with his mother and sister (well, not the chores, so much.)

On approximately 250 acres of land, which is mixed hillsides, bottom, and woods, we raise a
combination of annual row-crops and also our beef. Typical of this area, we have marginal
land which is better suited to cattle than cultivation (which is typical of most cattle-farming).

We've found that where we run our cattle actually improves the soil and its health - as long as
we pay attention and actually manage how long and when they graze where. As we continue to
study and learn about and from our cattle, our daily lessons help us to improve the quality and
quantity of beef we raise.We practice managed grazing and are transitioning over to ultra-
high-density stocking, as this is even better for the land and actually requires more cattle per
acre to keep up with the lush growth and pasture renovation.

All our beef is from local stock. Mostly black Angus cross-bred cows, with our current Belted
Galloway bull named "Gene Autry" is servicing these well.

Ordering Our Beef
We only take local orders, so contact us via the website or call directly. Due to Federal laws,
we cannot sell our beef out of Missouri – you'll have to buy it here. Generally, our beef is
spoken for well before it's ready for processing. However, contact us for what we have coming
up and we can give you an estimate on when the next one is coming available.
 We are also offering La Cense beef, which is USDA inspected and can be shipped anywhere
                 in the US. Please see http://worstellfarms.com for details.



               Visit http://worstellfarms.com for more information.
Related Articles from the Worstell Farms Web Site:
   •   Worstell Farms – Finest Missouri Grass Fed Beef
   •   Raising Missouri Pasture-Fed Beef
   •   What's All-Natural, Humane, Pasture-Raised?
   •   How does a Beef Ranch Stay in Business?
   •   Why our Missouri prime beef is striped...
   •   Missouri Beef: Heathy is as Healthy Eats
   •   What are "CLA's" and "Omega 3 and 6's"?!?
   •   How Missouri Beef is Your Best Health Food
   •   Missouri Grass Fed Meat For You to Buy
   •   The Surprising Taste of Grass Fed Meat
   •   Dry Aged Vs. Wet Aged
   •   What are the beef cuts?


About the Author:
Dr. Robert Worstell retired from a corporate career in graphic design to the much calmer and
healthier American Midwest, to inherit running the family farm. His constant work and
research has been to improve the sustainability of this Missouri “beef ranch”. The results show
that grass fed beef, locally and directly marketed is the route to profitability, not following
commodity trends.
Dr. Worstell's training in web design has helped him move the operation more online, as well
as giving him new networking opportunities to promote Worstell Farms beef products. He is
also a prolific author and has recently completed research into the all-time best self help
books, with his “Freedom Is – (period).” Out of the 7 books published this year, he's also
produced a fiction work, “The Dreamer Dreamed” - itself a breakthrough use of fiction to
explore the metaphysical aspect of dream meaning. All of these are available at
http://midwestjournalpress.com
Dr. Worstell may be contacted through his several blogs and websites for interviews and
appearances.




              Visit http://worstellfarms.com for more information

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How does a Beef Ranch Stay in Business?

  • 1. How does a Beef Ranch Stay in Business? Simple answer: income greater than expenses and needed reserves. Makes running a beef ranch seem simple. This was the problem I encountered when I took over farming. Most (and we still do, at this point) maintain a second job away from the farm. Because (as "everybody conventionally knows") you keep farming until the money runs out. It's that second job which pays the costs of farming when the crop doesn't. It's the commoditized base of farming which is keeping dirt-poor farmers dirt-poor. We studied this over and over and kept coming up to the same conclusion. Getting big doesn't make your farm more profitable. Studies show that about 300 acres is the max on cost breaks with the income/expenses leverage. More acres above that and you are doing longer hours with the same basic cost per acre. It's how many acres can you farm to replace your day job income. Not less hours or easier work. Now you have to get smart about what you are doing. We really have nothing bad to say about corn-fed/lot-finished beef (other than it has no taste, really). But if you are selling a lot of bland burgers at a discount price, this is exactly what you want. And that is the commodity beef business. Why packers are vertically integrating to cut out middleman costs. Our difference with them is that when we started crunching numbers, we found that our best profit point was to get away from corn-fed beef entirely. Half our annual crop was going to pay for feed costs. The next year we made more money simply selling them as feeders (just weaned) and stayed in the warm house more often than filling grain feeders in the middle of winter and fixing broken/frozen water lines. The next breakthrough was learning we could almost double that by simply selling them as yearlings (one year old) to other people who had feed lots with cheaper corn and hated staying inside all winter. Kept my weaned calves on hay with the other cows and calves and we still Visit http://worstellfarms.com for more information.
  • 2. stayed in the warm house more. The next point was finding that if we manage our grazing and have leftover tall grass in the pastures, we can make less hay and so take my expenses even further down. That's because we're moving to grass-fed beef with managed grazing (ultimately right on up to ultra-high- density stocking aka "mob" grazing) . Funny thing is: the more naturally we raise our beef, the cheaper it gets to raise it. So farm profits rise. It's not "buy more land and work longer and harder", it's "manage what we have smarter and work less". Of course, the next up from that is where you come in. Where we sell directly to the client, and keep them happy with what they get, we can make more than we would when we send them to the auction. Not a lot more, but it will make our farm more and save you a lot more by getting you to buy higher quality beef that you can inspect yourself for much less than you would pay else where for similar or lesser quality. If you buy the whole cow direct from us, we can get you 600 pounds of beef for about $2.00 a pound (right this second, anyway - prices change all the time). And that's the average price of the Gawd-knows-where-it-came-from-or- how-it-got-here variety hamburger in the supermarkets. And you get steaks and roasts and filets-mignon's all for the price of that questionable hamburger. But all that beef won't fit in the average home freezer. And it's a huge chunk of cash to spend at once. So we use a local marketer to find clients and we sell the beef to four people at once. They each drive off with about 150 pounds. But it costs them a little more per pound so that the marketer makes enough to keep selling this stuff, and our farm still gets a little above sending it all to auction. The answer is still the same. We keep figuring out how to help Nature do what She does best, and She rewards me in the marketplace with more of this funny green stuff that cattle won't eat and bankers will. That's how our farm stays in business. ---- For more data on raising pasture fed beef, as well as other information on prime beef as health food – visit http://worstellfarms.com Visit http://worstellfarms.com for more information.
  • 3. About Worstell Farms Our family goes back on both sides with farmers. As far as we can trace. And that tradition came to Mexico, Missouri around 1960 to purchase the current farming operation. Jim and Laura Worstell established a working farm there and then, and raised a big family of 8 kids, along with several dogs, cats, and an occasional pet squirrel or raccoon. And don't forget the llama's and peacocks... In 2000, Robert Worstell returned to the farm to take over operations management (as well as the day-to-day chores) and shares these duties with his mother and sister (well, not the chores, so much.) On approximately 250 acres of land, which is mixed hillsides, bottom, and woods, we raise a combination of annual row-crops and also our beef. Typical of this area, we have marginal land which is better suited to cattle than cultivation (which is typical of most cattle-farming). We've found that where we run our cattle actually improves the soil and its health - as long as we pay attention and actually manage how long and when they graze where. As we continue to study and learn about and from our cattle, our daily lessons help us to improve the quality and quantity of beef we raise.We practice managed grazing and are transitioning over to ultra- high-density stocking, as this is even better for the land and actually requires more cattle per acre to keep up with the lush growth and pasture renovation. All our beef is from local stock. Mostly black Angus cross-bred cows, with our current Belted Galloway bull named "Gene Autry" is servicing these well. Ordering Our Beef We only take local orders, so contact us via the website or call directly. Due to Federal laws, we cannot sell our beef out of Missouri – you'll have to buy it here. Generally, our beef is spoken for well before it's ready for processing. However, contact us for what we have coming up and we can give you an estimate on when the next one is coming available. We are also offering La Cense beef, which is USDA inspected and can be shipped anywhere in the US. Please see http://worstellfarms.com for details. Visit http://worstellfarms.com for more information.
  • 4. Related Articles from the Worstell Farms Web Site: • Worstell Farms – Finest Missouri Grass Fed Beef • Raising Missouri Pasture-Fed Beef • What's All-Natural, Humane, Pasture-Raised? • How does a Beef Ranch Stay in Business? • Why our Missouri prime beef is striped... • Missouri Beef: Heathy is as Healthy Eats • What are "CLA's" and "Omega 3 and 6's"?!? • How Missouri Beef is Your Best Health Food • Missouri Grass Fed Meat For You to Buy • The Surprising Taste of Grass Fed Meat • Dry Aged Vs. Wet Aged • What are the beef cuts? About the Author: Dr. Robert Worstell retired from a corporate career in graphic design to the much calmer and healthier American Midwest, to inherit running the family farm. His constant work and research has been to improve the sustainability of this Missouri “beef ranch”. The results show that grass fed beef, locally and directly marketed is the route to profitability, not following commodity trends. Dr. Worstell's training in web design has helped him move the operation more online, as well as giving him new networking opportunities to promote Worstell Farms beef products. He is also a prolific author and has recently completed research into the all-time best self help books, with his “Freedom Is – (period).” Out of the 7 books published this year, he's also produced a fiction work, “The Dreamer Dreamed” - itself a breakthrough use of fiction to explore the metaphysical aspect of dream meaning. All of these are available at http://midwestjournalpress.com Dr. Worstell may be contacted through his several blogs and websites for interviews and appearances. Visit http://worstellfarms.com for more information