Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Range Beef Cow Symposium XXIII, December 3-5, 2013, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD.


Copyright © 2013 Dave Specht.


Every cattle ranch faces questions about how to operate, how to position for the future, who should own the ranch and who has the talent to manage the ranch. While all of these questions are difficult, they must be confronted. The biggest threat to the future of the family ranch isn’t cattle prices, land prices or federal regulation; it’s the lack of positive and consistent communication within the ranch family. To help you get the dialogue started, there are 10 questions that every ranch family should ask each family member. Asking these questions will create a dialogue and will clarify gaps in perceptions and expectations. Changing a pattern of communication does not happen overnight and will take practice, but the consequences of not trying are ultimately the possible fractures in family relationships and the loss of family ownership of the ranch long term.