Radke: Four habits of successful cattlemen | TheFencePost.com

Radke: Four habits of successful cattlemen

As a writer who focuses on the cattle business, I get to meet a wide variety of influential people in the beef industry. When visiting with these folks, it’s interesting to learn more about what makes them tick, what steps they took to advance their careers and the little things they do to be successful in this business.

Over the years, I’ve realized that successful cattlemen have a few things in common. I’ve identified the four common traits of these individuals, and I try to practice these in my own ranching enterprise. Here are four things we should all try to practice each day in order to achieve success in our agricultural endeavors.


Efficiency is the key to advancing yourself forward. Are you making the most out of your 24 hours? Are there things on the ranch you avoid doing or put off for later? Are there ways you could improve how you feed or tasks you could simplify, so they take less time? Are you hustling to get things done, so you have more time to focus on expansion, innovation and implementation of new ideas?

“Efficiency is the key to advancing yourself forward. Are you making the most of your 24 hours?”

Continued education

Learning shouldn’t stop once your school days are over. Take advantage of educational opportunities as they arise.

Whether it’s reading BEEF magazine, taking an Extension course, attending a cattlemen’s meeting, enrolling in a program for young producers offered through your local bank or simply visiting with a respected mentor, there are many ways to continue learning, growing and expanding your knowledge in the beef cattle business.


There’s no doubt about it — the cattle business isn’t for the faint of heart. The risk, time commitment, market swings, weather — all are factors to make this a challenging industry to be a part of.

When the going gets tough, remind yourself why you’re so passionate about this business in the first place. What do you love about this industry? Is it the ability to be your own boss? Work outside? Set your own schedule? Watch your herd grow and genetics improve?

Focus on the positives, and the tough parts of the job won’t seem so bad.


What are your short- and long-term goals for your business? Is everyone in the family on board to help you achieve those goals?

Make it a habit to regularly review your one-year, five-year and 10-year plans to ensure that you’re constantly striving for something. Make goals attainable and realistic, but don’t forget to dream big, as well. Be sure to celebrate the little milestones along the way, too, as you make progress on your long-term goals.

Did I miss anything? What other traits would you add to the list? Share your secrets for success with me by emailing me at amanda.radke@live.com. I would love to hear what has helped you get through bumps in the road and achieve long-term success in this industry.❖

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