A successful rancher is a well-informed rancher, and it seems like the more we learn, the more we learn we don’t know. Fortunately, a few clicks of the mouse (or taps on our smartphones) are all we need to access news, expert advice, and other resources to help us run a more efficient, profitable ranching operation.
Here’s some good news — we’ve done the Googling for you! We scoured the Web to find some of the most useful online resources for every Texas rancher … plus a couple of ranch-life blogs to enjoy during your well-deserved downtime.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Stay up-to-date on the latest research, get access to online courses, and find expert advice on topics ranging from managing waste water to coping with feral hogs. Be sure to check out their list of handy mobile apps, especially the Cow Poop Analyzer (wow, there really is an app for everything). And if you can’t find the answer to your question on the site, submit it on the Ask an Expert page for custom advice from extension and university specialists.
Working Ranch Magazine
This site is a terrific one-stop-shop if you want a quick update on what’s going on in the ranching community. Check out the WR Weekly News section for the latest on legislation, technology, and conferences/trade shows, and subscribe to the biweekly Working Ranch Radio Podcast, available on iTunes and Google Play Music. The rest of the content is a bit dated, but you’ll still plenty of valuable information, especially in the Ask the Vet and Pasture Management sections.
Rancher’s Reference Guide
This handy online guide offers the quick, basic information ranchers need to make key decisions for their land and livestock. Keep the page bookmarked for the next time you’re looking for the classic warning signs of overgrazing, peak water requirements for cattle, instructions for calibrating boom sprayers, or any one of a host of other topics.
And just for fun, here are a couple of blogs for a personal perspective on the ranching life:
Kids, Cows, and Grass
Not many bloggers could pull off an entire post in praise of a cow’s tongue, but Kansas cattle rancher Debbie Lyons-Blythe managed it. Each week Debbie shares recipes (mostly beef, of course), stories, and nature reports on the flora and fauna of the Kansas Flint Hills. She also has a lot of friends, and the wide array of guest bloggers adds a note of diversity as they share their unique perspectives on all things ranching.
If you are in the beef world and haven’t read any of Ryan’s posts, it’s time to get on the band wagon. Passionate about the cattle industry and agvocating, his posts about livestock, agriculture and beef are always insightful.
(And of course, if you ever have questions about the financial side of ranching, your friendly local Heritage Land Bank loan officer is here to help!)