COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The Ranching for Profit School teaches people how to make their ranching business as profitable as it can be. The course is in Colorado Springs this week.
“We grow up in this industry learning how to set a brace, how to vaccinate a calf, how to work cattle, how to fix pipelines, how to do all that stuff, no one ever showed us how to run a business,” said David Pratt, the course instructor.
The school teaches healthy land, happy family, and profitable business practices. Long time instructor David Pratt works to spread that message.
“They’re going to get a new perspective, they’re going to start thinking about their ranch differently,” Pratt said.
That thought process goes deeper than just ranching. Focusing on the land and family becomes more of a priority for people in attendance.
“If I think the key to making a profit in agriculture is weening a bigger calf, well than I’m going to do all sorts of things that lead to weening a bigger calf, it’s not until I understand that maybe that’s not the key that maybe I’ll start to behave differently,” Pratt said.
Christopher Mellen is one of 54 ranchers attending this course this week. He is attending the class for the first time. His focus is regenerative agriculture.
“We can take land that is desert and run cattle on them starting with hay, then in 5 to 10 years it’ll be flourishing again,” said Christopher Mellen of Brett Gray Ranch in Rush, CO.
He understands that aspect of ranching but wants to learn the best ways to turn that knowledge into more profit.
“Some people run yearlings, some people run cow calf pairs so it varies, but it’s just all about how do I actually maximize my profit and lower my input in my direct costs to make money,” said Mellen.
Pratt says the ranchers can see large profit growth in the future if they stick to the plan they leave the course with.
“Everyone is going to leave with a plan that, if they don't have a two or three hundred-thousand-dollar difference in that plan than they aren't thinking hard enough," said Pratt.
The course is offered in Colorado Springs every January, but the networking opportunities created by the class benefit many of the ranchers throughout the year.