The Carruthers’ heifer development system might best be categorized as ‘extensive’.
Instead of feeding total mixed rations in a drylot situation, the heifers graze on grass and
cornstalks with just enough supplemental feed to meet their nutritional requirements. CARRUTHERS FAMILY ARCHIVE
Troy and Brandi at work in the
portable AI barn, while Hadley
and Maverick quietly look on.
CARRUTHERS FAMILY ARCHIVE
performance too,” he adds.
When talking about the business
side of ranching, Troy says it’s not
unlike the fi nancial planning he still
performs for a list of clients
that now includes more
ranch folk. He advises
them to set goals, evaluate
the options and choose
a course. Monitoring the
progress allows for a change
of course when change makes sense.
To hone their own ability to recognize
opportunities and make sensible
decisions, Troy and Brandi have vowed
to never stop learning. They seek out
educational experiences, such as the
High Plains Ranch Practicum School –
a collaboration between the University
of Nebraska and the University of
Wyoming that emphasizes a systems
approach to ranch management.
This past winter, the Carruthers also
attended the Ranching for Profi t
School, whose curriculum encourages
participants to think outside the box.
“People often say that it’s just too
hard for young people to get started in
ranching, but it can be done. We didn’t
come into it fl ush with cash, so we had
to take on debt. But we had a solid business
plan and the passion to succeed.
We were determined and that might be
the most important thing,” says Troy.
“Maybe it was better that neither of
our families had established operations
that we could join,” he adds, noting
how young people often struggle to fi t
into tradition-bound family ranches.
“We didn’t have any traditions, so
we were free to apply different practices
and methods, or even introduce
different enterprises. But we did it
according to a business plan. If you
treat your operation like a business, it
might actually become one.”
64 I WORKING RANCH I JUNE / JULY 2019