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Editor's Letter - January 2015


New Year Tips for Organization at the Ranch

by Ellen H. Brisendine

January — new year, new resolutions and a renewed determination to get organized. I must not be the only person who determines to reach organizational perfection with the new year. Consumer magazines, lifestyle sections of newspapers and Pinterest are filled with tips and tricks to declutter, classify, label, store, file — and frequently, for me, to ultimately lose — the stuff of our lives.

We thought our readers would enjoy some ranch organizing tips this month. But don’t worry, we practiced restraint and kept our content to the achievable. We’re not advocating that you go out and buy a label maker, unless you really just want to. Staff writer Kristin Hawkins spoke with Terrell Miller, owner of CattleSoft, about ranch record-keeping techniques in the article “Good, Better, Best: Ranch Record Keeping.” Miller shares his experience in some easy-to-apply record keeping for any size ranch operation.

Contributing writer Lorie Cantu starts a new column this year with The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. You’ll find that column in the Ranching department. Cantu and the agricultural consultants at the foundation will be talking about how management decisions at the ranch affect ranch income.

Even though Hawkins and Cantu talked to different sources on different topics, the need for some kind of ranch business records is apparent in each article.

Larry Gray, who heads up the special rangers division of Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA), suggested we remind readers about another type of record — branding. Every month, we read about unbranded, unmarked cattle that have gone missing. Unbranded cattle are much more difficult to recover and at today’s cattle prices, not branding is a risk to a ranch’s bottom line.

Your magazine should have arrived at your mailbox in a plastic bag this month, with a 2015 Cattle Raisers Convention booklet in the bag. If you don’t have the booklet, you can find the same information, and more, at

Look in the Cattle Raisers Community department in this issue for information on special registration packages for the 2015 Cattle Raisers Convention, March 27 to 29, Fort Worth. I hope you’ll come for all 3 days, but if your schedule won’t allow that, then pick a day to attend. Every day of the convention is packed with relevant education, timely information, good food and great fun.

Happy New Year! As much as I look forward to achieving organizational perfection, I most look forward to the chances 2015 will bring to hear from you.

Conversations is from the January 2015 issue of The Cattleman magazine.