Too many family ranches these days are supported by a spouse’s off-ranch income. But this book by Cody Holmes proves that it doesn’t have to be this way!

Ranching Full-Time on 3 Hours a Day

Holmes writes Ranching Full-Time on 3 Hours a Day: Real-World Validation of Holistic Systems for Stockmen from experience. He knows what it’s like to work all day to make ends meet, to grapple with shallow soil and sparse grass, and to heed the advice of fertilizer salesmen in a desperate attempt to improve a bad situation. But he also knows how to turn the situation around, because he did it on his own ranch.

Ranching Full-Time on 3 Hours a Day shares the principles necessary to maintain a low-input ranch that makes a profit while still allowing time for a lifestyle that is more than just work. Some of these principles include:

  • Low-maintenance cow genetics.
  • Grazing management.
  • Gross margin analysis.
  • A successful mindset.
  • Soil improvement.
  • Thinking and observational skills.
  • Multi-species grazing.

The book concludes with a 10-step plan for switching your ranch to a holistic approach.

While some of Holmes’s advice may seem heretical to the modern producer (e.g., leaving some weeds in the pasture to serve as nutritional supplements for the cattle), he respectfully reminds the reader from time to time that he has done it both ways and has witnessed the benefits of this alternative approach himself. The result is a realistic system that fits into nature’s pattern quite readily, reducing the expenses and workload of the ranch and leaving the family free to enjoy the benefits of their special lifestyle.

The specifics may be hard to follow at times, but the principles of the book are abundantly clear, making Ranching Full-Time on 3 Hours a Day a good choice for ranchers and cattle producers seeking a better way.