Ranching Full-Time on 3 Hours a Day
Acres USA, 2011
In Norwood, Missouri, a 1,000 acre ranch stands out from the rest. The grass is green and lush. More than a hundred species of plants are grazed by intensively managed herds of livestock, and the ground is fertile. The cows are low-maintenance and the ranch is low-input. Healthy food is produced here, and it doesn’t come only from beef cows. Milk cows, pigs, sheep and chickens add to the beef cow/calf operation, promoting diversity and ecosystem health on the ranch.
That’s the short story of Cody Holmes’ operation. Cody uses his experiences and advancements on his ranch through his book, “Ranching Full-Time on 3 Hours a Day” to educate others on how they too can be successful farmers in today’s environment.
Don’t let the book’s title fool you. When I first purchased it, I thought the book would focus on how to be efficient and run a cattle operation with minimal effort. That was a little misleading. In one section of the book, Holmes talks about the fact that a couple hundred head cattle operation is NOT a full time job, and shouldn’t be treated as such. That leaves time to focus on other aspects, such as marketing and focusing on the management of other species. Overall, though, the book was more focused on holistic management and not efficient time management on a ranch.
Each of the chapters in the book focus on an important aspect of farming, including grass management, economics and multi-species grazing. Holmes has a lot of opinions on those and other topics, and shares his wisdom and experiences with the reader. It reminds me a lot of Greg Judy’s book “Comeback Farms”.
If you’re looking for a book on how to manage a cattle operation with just 3 hours of labor a day, this isn’t the book for you. But if you want ideas for holistic management, rejuvenating the land, and thriving on the family farm, you’ll enjoy Cody Holmes’ book.
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