Triangle/Chino Winds NRCD

Our mission at the Triangle/Chino Winds NRCD is to advocate for all local agricultural producers. We are dedicated to coordinating with governing agencies and local landowners to achieve conservation goals.

By Reuban Verner

   The saying goes that what gets measured, gets done. Success is easy to define with a concrete benchmark, or a numerically defined goal.

How then do we measure success when we can’t directly measure the results of our    efforts?

Most successful ranchers I know have clearly defined goals. Many are tied directly to measurable attributes, such as increasing breed back rates or decreasing percentage bare ground. These are good goals that directly effect productivity, but if we were to ask

ranchers in any part of the country why they do what they do, quality of life statements usually top the list.

We do what we do because we enjoy doing it, not because it is fun checking heifers at two am and pray that the

water truck doesn’t break down.

When I have this conversation with others in production agriculture, they seem to instinctively understand. We have more in common with farmers than we might care to admit. The opposite is true of most outsiders. They see the 2% rate of return that our industry averages, the hours that we work, and conclude quickly that we are crazy.

Raising kids on a working ranch has made me appreciate the importance of making daily work fun. It has forced me to answer the question of why do I enjoy the things that I do, and why I choose this occupation over others. When they are of age they will obviously set goals and define success for their own lives, which is as it should be. In the meantime, it is up to me to define what success looks like each day and make sure that we achieve it.

Our goals should always be measurable, but they also need to aim at the heart of what matters. Sustainable practices do not deplete soils or people. Stewardship of these resources -both human and environmental- is at the foundation of what we do, and we should be willing and able to describe what success looks like for both.