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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1972. Department of Agricultural Economics.


Copyright 1972, the author. Used by permission.


This study was initiated in an attempt to search for ideas and methods of facilitating growth of small and medium sized Sandhills ranches.The objective of this study was four fold including the study of firm growth problems and potentials of Sandhills ranches within a real life situation of a dynamic uncertain production and income environment.Several major growth variables were investigated including methods of land acquisition, different levels of owner equity, alternative financial arrangements and a comparison of three cattle producing systems.The resources, variables and data were combined by developing a firm growth model using simulation techniques to evaluate the factors of ranch growth.

The development of the simulation program for computer analysis required the greater time and effort of the study but eventually paid off with a realistic simulation program capable of duplicating the ranch firms operations over a period of 15 years.

This study has shown the profit margin in ranching is very narrow but it is possible for higher equity firms to grow.Low equity firms will need to produce above average yields of beef and grass, have greater flexibility in expenditures, supplement ranch income or experience an increasing asset market on ranch land to progress in net worth.

Advisor: Glenn A. Helmers