Family and Friends,
We always like to take time in the spring to let you know how things are on the ranch. In almost all ways, they couldn’t be better. The cattle and laying flock have come through the winter in the best of health and condition. We have a large carry over of ungrazed pasture and surplus hay. This will provide our “drought reserve” for 2014. Our soil and pasture health is improving exponentially. That is, the improvements that we see in the soil, the vigor of the grass, and the health of our animals are improving at a much faster rate than ever before. I guess it is sort of like an upward spiral where “the better things get, the better they get.” We now have some extra help with our sons and their families. This is both answered prayer as well as a dream come true. Equally important to us is our wonderful, I mean wonderful, customer family. You are truly our partners in every way. We can not thank you enough for your understanding, loyal patronage, and your kindness. For this we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
I’m sure that you have read and heard that food prices are predicted to be much higher this coming year due to drought conditions in the agricultural regions to our west and low cattle numbers. In a high input/maximum production (some call it going for broke) agriculture this can be expected. I suppose that we could look at predicted higher pasture rents, hay prices, and cattle prices as “opportunity costs”. That’s fine for some but we are in this business for the long haul. As long as we can keep up with cost increases, we have no intention of taking advantage of the situation. The best that we can calculate, we should be able to do that with a modest 3-4% price increase. We will not implement any price increases until May 1st. I hope this seems reasonable to you.
We are looking forward to a good year. We thoroughly enjoy growing food for you and visiting with you all and hope to include you in some ranch tours and picnics during this season.
Thanks again for your support,