How to create a Bison Ranch
Matt Skoglund came to me with a dream: "To own and manage a bison ranch."
Ann Adams interviewed Matt Skoglund in fall of 2019 and chronicled the first two years of this journey. This story is about a dream, a willingness to learn, to put together a team of experts and follow their recommendations, and to believe in this process called Holistic Management. Matt is off to a great start and I'm looking forward to going down this path of discovery together.
If you would rather listen to a Podcast on Matt's journey:
Winter Feeding and Spring Calving
Milton Ranch Roundup, MT
I currently fill the role of CFO(Chief Financial Officer) and advise Bill in practicing Holistic Management on the Milton Ranch. The following article was writtten by Bill Milton and Krist Walstad (NRCS FO in Joliet). By calving later in May, Bill has been able to reduce his feed costs by 50%. Most winters, Bill is able to grazed year road. The winter of 2017-2108 was the exception, he was forced to stop grazing for about 45 days and provide full feed to his cows.
In this case study, Bill discusses how it costs him only $1.23/day to winter his cows. On most ranches that provide full feed to their cows, it is cost over $2.50/day when you include the cost of hay, time, labor, fuel, machinery, including haying equipment and other costs associated with full feed. Click here to read the article written by Bill and Krist.
Snowcrest TRE Ranch
After testing and challenging the paradigm that hay fields should only produce hay, Aaron Paulson challenged tradition and decided to graze a 151 acre center pivot with 215 yearling bison. They cross-fenced this pivot into 22 different paddocks with permanent and temporary electric fence.
They was able to graze this pivot from May 18 into October This allowed them to graze 215 yearling bison for 105 days on 151 acres. Aaron reports that there was a $75,000 advantage (increased profit) from grazing this pivot versus put this land up for hay. I would encourage you read the article written by Aaron Paulson and first published in Winter, 2018 MBA newsletter.
The Milton Ranch
In 1990 the Milton Ranch began struggling with several financial issues and profitability just wasn’t happening as planned. Seven years later, despite efforts to implement financial plans, the Ranch wasn't doing much better. Bill Milton and Roland Kroos decided to attend an Entrepreneur Workshop lead by Ernesto Sirolli. At this workshop, Ernesto talked about what it takes to be an entrepreneur and run a successful business. First you must have Passion and then you must have the right combination of skills...