As Ranch Manager at Rana Creek Ranch, Kent Heneks is responsible for the breeding and care of over a thousand head of cattle on 15,000 acres of range land in California’s Carmel Valley. He is developing purebred cows, the Ranchers Choice brand, that have low birth weights for easy calving and high wean weights for quick growth. These qualities combined make for a commercially desirable cow with high market value.
A cattle ranch manager spends a lot of time on the range, to care for and feed the cattle and to maintain the pasture land and Ranch equipment. Kent was too often stuck in his office, struggling to keep track of the “paperwork heard” instead of being out on the Range taking care of business. The lawyers and accountants for the ranch always seem to have another request for information, and keeping herd data up to date was becoming more and more difficult. He needed record-keeping that would allow him to get out of his chair and back into the saddle.
Kent asked us to come to the ranch and see if we could help. We met with Kent over the office swamp cooler on a particularly hot summer day. Well comfortable using the Mac, Kent was trying to use spreadsheets and “works” programs where a database was needed. There were some interesting challenges including a need for genealogy charts and calving / breeding performance histories. Also, Kent had “inherited” a variety of “cow numbering” systems, each perfectly logical and its own right in each supported “in the flesh” by the traditional brand on the animal. Driving out of the ranch, John past a group of cows and calves and thought a “record is a cow…”
We research the information needed at the ranch by the accountants in the parent corporation, and designed a custom database converting Kent’s contribution to developing the Ranchers Choice breed over the past 6 years. He created scripts and layouts that simplified the entry and Reconciliation long-neglected records of births, weaning, and sales. Since cattle-raising his long periods were little database activity occurs, the automated procedures for easy recall, using the ranch logo for buttons.
Working with us got Kent the tools needed to manage their heard on paper as well as he already did on the hoof. By combining the traditions and culture of Cattleman with the information needs of the City Slickers back in town, we helped Kent get back on the range, while improving record accuracy and providing the detailed information needed in a modern business. With the system installed and training complete, Kent allowed that “for the first time in my life, I’m excited about keeping records of the herd!”