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Starting Beef Cattle Farming Business Plan (PDF)

Beef Cattle Farming Business Plan

Starting a beef cattle farming business presents a unique and lucrative opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs. The demand for quality beef continues to rise globally, making this an opportune time to enter the market. With a growing population and a steady increase in the consumption of protein-rich diets, the beef industry is poised for sustained growth. This demand creates a fertile environment for new entrants, offering a chance to tap into a thriving market. Beef cattle farming involves breeding cows to get calves, which are then raised and sold for beef. Beef cattle production is a very profitable business, and many farmers are making money all over the world by starting cow-calf operations businesses. However, to build a profitable, sustainable beef cattle ranching business, you require sufficient knowledge of how to efficiently keep the beef cattle, good business management skills, and a good beef cattle farming business plan. This article will outline how to start the cattle production business, and the beef cattle farming business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.

Beef cattle farming is a lucrative business project that is providing income for a lot of livestock farmers. There are some important things you need to consider before you setup a beef cattle production business. You need to gather the correct resources, decide on the size of your cattle farming project this includes the number of cattle; location of the beef cattle production business, as well as your target market. These decisions will be affected by the amount of capital you have, and the size of your target market. If you do not have a lot of capital, you can always start small and grow your beef cattle breeding project overtime. You also need to carry out market research (Who are you going to sell the cattle to? At what price?) and write a cow-calf operations business plan before you start the project.

Market Research

Market research is a pivotal step when embarking on a beef cattle farming venture. It serves as the compass guiding your business decisions and can ultimately determine your success in this industry. Assessing the local demand is essential; understanding the existing market, who your potential customers are, and their preferences can help you tailor your cattle farming approach to meet these needs effectively. It’s imperative to delve into the pricing dynamics of various grades of beef within your target market. This involves a comprehensive examination of not only the prevailing prices but also the factors that influence them. Identifying potential customers and understanding their preferences and price sensitivity is equally vital, as it enables you to tailor your pricing strategy to match their expectations. Additionally, recognizing the seasonality of cattle and beef prices is key, as these fluctuations can significantly impact your revenue and profit margins. A competitive analysis will help you understand the landscape of existing cattle farms, their strategies, and what sets your venture apart. Identifying your competitive advantages and crafting a unique selling proposition can be key to carving out your niche in the market.

As a crucial component of market research in the context of starting a beef cattle farming business, the selection of the appropriate cattle breed plays a pivotal role. This decision encompasses a comprehensive assessment of various factors, including the availability of breeds in your region, their feed conversion efficiency, the cost associated with acquiring them, and the specific demands of the market. Each breed possesses distinct characteristics that impact their suitability for your business, such as their growth rate, meat quality, and adaptability to local conditions. Additionally, you should delve into supply chain considerations, establishing efficient logistics and partnerships to transport and distribute your products effectively.

Land for Beef Cattle Farming

Land is an important factor when you are starting a cattle ranching business. When selecting land for your cattle farm, some important considerations include: availability of good grass and pasture for grazing, availability of good, quality water supply, land size in relation to size of your cattle herd and soil type as it affects forage production potential.  Other factors include availability of already made infrastructure like pens, sheds, buildings, as constructing new working facilities and buildings on a cattle farm is expensive.

A beef cattle farming venture requires huge tracts of land. This is because you will need spaces for grazing and other dedicated farm structures. You must consider the terrain; flat land that gently slopes is ideal. The soil characteristics are important as well – loam soil is the best. That soil type is best suited for consistent pasture and forage development. The availability of adequate pastures is yet another land consideration. You must ensure there are enough pastures. This connects to considering the quality of forage available. Ideally, you need pastures and forage mainly constituted of grasses and legumes. If the legumes composition is at least a third of the total, that would be great. Water availability is also a huge consideration. The best is to have a clean, fresh, and reliable water source. Preferably it should be within a 1 mile radius. This will be convenient for the cattle so that they do not have to go far to find water. It is advisable to check the quality of the water; especially if it is a natural water source. High salt and sulphur levels are detrimental to your cattle. Proximity of strategic road networks is of utmost importance for accessibility and mobility. Bear in mind that within the beef cattle farm, gravel roads are the best.

Housing for Beef Cattle Production Business

To be successful in the beef cattle ranching business, you need to provide proper shelter and housing for your cattle. Beef cattle can be negatively affected by mud, harsh winds, and extreme low temperatures. The design and type of beef cattle facilities should take into consideration the need to provide the required space, feed, shelter, water, waste management and livestock handling features. Beef cattle housing can broadly be in the form of cubicles, sheds, pens, corrals, barns, or open yards. However, it is important to ensure that there is enough shade for the cattle. That is why protection from the weather elements is a huge consideration in beef cattle housing. Protection from predators is also closely tied to that. Overall, the housing must be clean with good ventilation. Plus the beef cattle housing must generally be easy to clean. Ensure that there is dry surface, floor, or bedding. It is best to use dry straw on them; adding sand also helps in that regard.

The cattle housing must be big enough to allow free movement of the cattle. The housing must not be homogenous; there should be separate segments for different specific uses. For example, you need separate segments for calves, sick cattle, or newly arrived cattle. It is recommended that beef cattle housing must be set up on an elevated spot. This streamlines cleaning activities, drainage, and runoff. Take into account the prevailing wind direction in your chosen location – the beef cattle housing should be erected standing perpendicular to that. Other cattle handling structures include crowding pens, sorting corrals, working chutes & gates, squeeze gates and sick pens. However the necessity of the structures depends on the scale of the cattle farming business. The cattle ranch farm also requires good fencing. Pasture fencing for cow-calf operations business is a necessity, so as to contain the cattle and manage their grazing. This can be done by barbed wire, high tensile smooth wire or electric fencing. The costs of constructing the housing should be include in the beef cattle production business plan. 

Equipment For Beef Cattle Farming Business

Beef cattle farming equipment mainly comprises of feed and water equipment. For example, you need feeding bunks and, feeding bins (or troughs) or portable hay feeders. Water equipment can be in the form of or involve drinkers, tanks, canals, pumps, pipes, and the like. Other handy equipment is for handling the beef cattle. For instance, chutes are central to this. Chutes are narrow mechanisms or passages used to control and guide the beef cattle in certain spaces. There are several different types of chutes e.g. holding chutes, working chutes, and loading chutes. Headgates are also central to the use of chutes. Cattle guards or grids are important in controlling the movement of the beef cattle. Then there are general equipment such as protective clothing, wheelbarrows, buckets & pails, livestock trailer, manure spreader, tractors, and the like. Specialized equipment for operations such as dehorning and castrating are needed too. Your cattle farming business plan should take into account the cost of purchasing or renting the land, structures and buying the equipment. 

Breeding Stock for Beef Cattle Production Business

To start a beef cattle production business, you require the breeding stock. The breeding stock consists of male cattle which are known as bulls, and female cattle/cows. Alternatively, instead of using bulls, you can use artificial insemination for breeding the cattle. The selection of cattle breeding stock is basically two-tier. The first aspect involves choosing the cattle breed you want. Then the second aspect is choosing the individual cattle. You can choose to start with calves and rear them to maturity. You could also start with cows or heifers at various stages of development. Another approach can be to start with fully grown cattle. Always remember that choosing purebreds is the best way to go. Your overall choice should be informed by personal beef cattle farming goals. That should also go hand in hand with climatic considerations of your chosen location. Availability of cattle breeding stock is also another huge consideration.

There are a number of specific attributes to note when choosing your beef cattle breeding stock. You should consider the age; young livestock is usually the best to pick. Consider fertility or reproductive rate, and mothering or maternal ability. In beef cattle farming, feed efficiency and quality of meat are important factors. What is cattle’s performance and health status? What are their behavioural profiles? For instance, aggression in cattle is not a good trait. All of these specifics must be ascertained with the backing of comprehensive records. You must also be diligent enough to make physical inspections of the cattle. The idea is to note defects or desirable characteristics. The cattle breeds you choose will affect the beef production potential of your cattle farming business. Some breeds are better than others at producing cattle with good beef quality. Other characteristics which vary among breeds include calving ease, milking ability, feed conversion, diseases resistance, longevity and average birth weight. The most popular breeds used in the the beef cattle farming business include Angus, Brahman, Limousin, Hereford, Simmental, Shorthorn, Texas Longhorn, Nguni, Gelbvieh, Charolais, Africander,  Highlands among others. The beef cattle farming business plan should include the costs of purchasing the breeding stock.

Feed And Nutrition

Success in the beef cow-calf production business is also greatly affected by the feeding program. The feeding program of the beef production business should ensure that adequate nutrition is provided to both the cows and calves at all growth stages and during all seasons. This should be done while keeping an eye on the feed costs, as they greatly affect profitability of the beef cattle farming business. Failure to provide adequate feeding for the beef cattle results in low reproductive performance, poor growth of the calves and poor disease resistance. These factors all lead to reduced revenues for the beef cattle production business, thus lower profits. In beef cattle farming business, weight and grade of meat are the major goals which informs the feeding regiment. Feeding generally depends on the size of the cattle. The bigger the frame, the higher the grain content should be. Cattle f eeding programs of beef farming are usually based on pasture grazing, in combination with supplementary feed. The supplementary feed for cow-calf operations include hay, salts & minerals, concentrates, silage, commercial beef feed, fodder, corn and grains. The most important dynamic is feed conversion or efficiency. Do not make the mistake of thinking overfeeding is a good thing. It usually leads to the build-up of excess fat thus lowering the beef quality. That is why it is important to seek guidance from experts on feeding using the right rations. The feed costs should be included in the beef cattle production business plan. 

cow farm business plan

Health & Disease Management in Beef Cattle Farming

Ensuring the health and well-being of your beef cattle is of paramount importance in the successful operation of your farming business. A comprehensive approach to health and disease management is not only ethical but also integral to maintaining the quality and productivity of your cattle herd. To achieve this, preventative health measures are vital. This includes implementing a vaccination program tailored to your region’s prevalent diseases, providing access to clean water and nutritious feed, and maintaining a hygienic living environment. Regular monitoring and control of external parasites like ticks and flies are also crucial aspects of preventative care.

Disease monitoring and surveillance form another critical component. Regular health checks and veterinary consultations enable the early detection of potential health issues, while meticulous record-keeping helps track your cattle’s overall well-being. Staying informed about disease outbreaks in your area and having the ability to implement quarantine measures if needed is essential. Collaboration with a veterinarian ensures that sick cattle receive proper treatment and medication, administered according to recommended guidelines. Biosecurity measures should be in place to prevent disease introduction and spread, and continuous education and training ensure that both you and your farm staff are well-prepared to manage cattle health effectively. Prioritizing health and disease management not only benefits your cattle’s well-being but also contributes to the sustainability and profitability of your beef cattle farming business.

Beef Cattle Farming Business Model

The beef cattle farming business model involves a well-defined and cyclical process that begins with the acquisition of breeding bulls and cows. These animals form the foundation of your operation, as they play a crucial role in producing calves, which will eventually become your marketable cattle. The mating of bulls and cows leads to the birth of calves, and from that point onward, the focus shifts to feeding and raising these young cattle until they reach the desired market age, and you then sell them. This careful management ensures that the cattle are healthy, well-nourished, and ready for sale, optimizing their value in the market.

The central financial aspect of this business model lies in managing the costs associated with feeding the cattle, which constitutes the major expense. However, the revenue generated from selling the cattle at market age significantly surpasses these feeding costs and other operational expenses. This robust revenue-to-cost ratio results in a healthy profit margin for the business. The key to sustained success in this model is its repeatability throughout the year, which ensures a consistent and steady stream of income. By following this cycle of breeding, raising, and selling, you can create a reliable and profitable business model in the beef cattle farming industry.

Capital for Cattle Ranching Business

The amount of capital required for the beef cattle breeding business depends on the scale of the project. When starting a cow-calf operations business, most of the capital goes to acquiring the land, building infrastructure, and buying the breeding stock. You can get a loan from the bank, or funding from investors, to use as capital to start your beef cattle farming business. If you plan to raise capital from investors and a loan from the bank, you need a good cattle ranching business plan. If you don’t have access to investors and bank loan, you can use your personal savings and start small, and grow your business overtime. Beef cattle farming is profitable, so if you reinvest the profits you get, you can grow over time. Even if you are not planning to get a loan, you should still get a beef cattle farming project plan to guide you in starting and operating the business. It is essential for you to have a beef cattle farming business plan before you venture into the cattle ranching business, so that you know all the costs involved and you make an informed decision.

Market for Beef

The market for beef cattle is very huge and is ever increasing, annual beef global demand exceeds 75 million tonnes. You can sell live cattle or slaughter and sell as beef. The market for cattle/beef includes supplying to butcher shops, abattoirs, auctions, schools, companies, individual households, farmers, restaurants, organisations, supermarkets, events etc. It’s important for the beef cattle farming business plan to include a proper marketing plan to use in your beef farming business.

The export market for beef is also very huge! As you grow your cattle farming business you will be able to export the beef to other countries.  The largest importers of beef are Russia, United States of America, Japan, China, South Korea, European Union, Hong Kong, Egypt, Canada, Chile and Malaysia. Currently, the top producers of beef are United States of America, Brazil, European Union, China, India, Argentina, Australia, Mexico, Pakistan, Turkey and Russia.

Keys To Profitability in Beef Cattle Farming

Profitability is the ultimate goal for those venturing into the world of beef cattle farming, and achieving it involves a multifaceted approach. Efficient resource management stands as a cornerstone, demanding a meticulous allocation of resources like land, water, and feed. Implementing rotational grazing systems can maintain pasture health and maximize forage production, thereby reducing the need for costly supplemental feed. Breeding and genetics play a pivotal role in profitability as well. Selecting cattle breeds that align with market preferences and local environmental conditions is crucial. Furthermore, a focus on breeding programs to enhance genetic traits such as growth rate, meat quality, and disease resistance can significantly impact the bottom line.

Health and disease management cannot be overlooked, as cattle health directly correlates with profitability. Prioritizing preventative measures and proactive disease management not only ensures the well-being of your herd but also reduces costs associated with medical interventions and promotes higher growth rates. Market timing and pricing strategies are equally vital, demanding a vigilant eye on market trends and pricing fluctuations. Utilizing market data to determine optimal pricing strategies ensures that you maximize your returns when selling cattle.

Cost control and budgeting, combined with strategic marketing and branding, enable efficient financial management. Keeping a detailed budget that tracks all expenses and revenue sources is imperative, allowing you to control costs effectively. Building a strong brand identity for your beef products and fostering relationships with local buyers, restaurants, and markets secures consistent sales channels. Finally, a commitment to continuous learning and improvement ensures your profitability endures. Staying updated on industry best practices, emerging technologies, and research in beef cattle farming equips you to adapt to industry changes, enhance productivity, and reduce waste, ultimately driving the success and profitability of your beef cattle farming business.

Why You Need a Cattle Farming Business Plan

Establishing and managing a thriving cattle farming business requires meticulous planning and strategic foresight. A well-structured cattle farming business plan is not merely a formality; it serves as an indispensable tool that can profoundly influence the trajectory of your venture. Financial planning and management is a vital aspect of a comprehensive business plan. It entails detailed financial projections, helping you estimate initial startup costs, ongoing expenses, and potential revenue streams. With insights into your cash flow, you can effectively manage your finances, make informed decisions regarding resource allocation (such as purchasing cattle, feed, and equipment), and maintain financial stability. Furthermore, if you require external financing or investment to initiate or expand your cattle farming business, a well-structured business plan is essential. Lenders and investors will scrutinize your plan to assess the viability and profitability of your venture, making a comprehensive and well-researched plan instrumental in instilling confidence in potential stakeholders.

A well-structured business plan for a beef cattle farming enterprise serves as a vital tool in comprehending the profitability of the business and identifying the key factors that influence it. It provides a detailed financial outlook, allowing you to assess the projected income, expenses, and potential returns on investment. By meticulously examining these financial projections, you gain a deep understanding of the financial health of your cattle farming venture. Additionally, the business plan facilitates an exploration of the factors that impact profitability, including feed costs, market pricing, and operational efficiency. With this insight, you can make informed decisions to optimize profitability, mitigate risks, and ensure the long-term success of your beef cattle farming business.

Pre-Written Beef Cattle Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel): Comprehensive Version, Short Funding/Bank Loan Version and Automated Financial Statements

For an in-depth analysis of the beef cattle farming business, we encourage you to purchase our well-researched and comprehensive cattle farming business plan. We introduced the business plans after discovering that many were venturing into the beef cattle production business without enough knowledge and understanding of how to run the cattle ranching business, how to keep the calves, lack of understanding of the financial side of the business, lack of understanding of : the industry, the risks involved , costs and profitability of the business; which often leads to disastrous losses.

The StartupBiz Global cow-calf operations business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run your beef cattle farming business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as you will be aware of all the costs involved in setting up and running the cattle ranching business.

Uses of the Beef Cattle Ranching Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)

The beef cattle farming business plan can be used for many purposes including:

  • Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
  • Applying for a bank loan
  • Start-up guide to launch your beef cattle farming business
  • As a beef cattle farming business proposal
  • Assessing profitability of the beef cattle production business
  • Finding a business partner
  • Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
  • Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation

Contents of the Beef Cattle Production Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)

The beef cattle farming business plan include, but not limited to:

  • Marketing Strategy
  • Financial Statements (monthly cash flow projections, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortization)
  • Risk Analysis
  • Industry Analysis
  • Market Analysis
  • SWOT & PEST Analysis
  • Operational Requirements (Including technical aspects of how to keep the cattle, feed requirements etc)
  • Operational Strategy
  • Why some people in beef cattle farming business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
  • Ways to raise capital to start your cattle farm business

The Pre-written beef cattle farm business plan package consists of 4 files

  • Beef Cattle Farming Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive Version – 121 Pages)
  • Cattle Farming Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive Version – 121 Pages)
  • Beef Cattle Farming Business Plan Funding/Bank Loan Version- Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan/funding – 51 pages)
  • Beef Cattle Farming Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel File)

The business plan can be used in any country and can be easily edited. The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the number of cattle, selling price of the cattle etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.

Click below to download the Contents Page of the Beef Cattle Farming Business Plan (PDF)

beef cattle farming business plan

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Get the Beef Cattle Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)

Click Buy Now  below to purchase using Paypal, Credit Card, or Debit Card. After you have purchased, you will immediately see the download link for the business plan package on the screen. You will also immediately get an email with the business plan download link. The Pre-written business plan package (PDF, Word, and Excel) costs $30 only!

cow-calf production business plan

If you want to purchase multiple business plans at once then click here: Business Plans Store.

The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on [email protected] and we will assist you.

We wish you the best in your beef cattle farming business! Check out our collection of business plans  , and more business ideas .

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Beef Cattle Farming Business Plan [Sample Template]

By: Author Tony Martins Ajaero

Home » Business ideas » Agriculture Industry » Livestock Farming » Cattle and Dairy

Are you about starting a cattle rearing farm for beef ? If YES, here is a complete sample cattle rearing business plan template & feasibility study you can use for FREE. To start with, you may want to consider going on the internet to read up a whole lot about the trade, as well as get information from those who are already in it. Below is a sample cattle rearing business plan template;

A Sample Beef Cattle Farming Business Plan Template

1. industry overview.

The agricultural industry of which livestock farming or better still cattle rearing is a subset of is no doubt among the leading industry in most countries of the world; it is the industry that produce food for the populace and raw materials for industries.

Because of the significant role the agriculture sector plays, the government of most countries ensures that they go all the way to subsidize seedlings, fertilizers, and farming implements and machinery for farmers and also encourage entrepreneurs to go into various kind of farming including cattle rearing.

There are several business opportunities available in the agricultural industry and one good thing about the industry is that there is market for all the produce from the industry. 

Cattle rearing is of course a thriving and profitable business because usefulness of beef and other by products from cattle. People eat beef, drink their milk, and use their fur and skin. With cattle milk, cheese can be made, along with other dairy products.

The Beef Cattle Farming industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in countries such as United States of America, Israel, Argentine, Holland, Egypt, China, Germany, Turkey and Nigeria et al. There is no single livestock farming company that has dominate market share in the industry hence smaller cattle rearing business can successfully make profits.

Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, there are about 38,184registered and licensed livestock farming business responsible for employing about 62,463and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $13 billion annually. The industry is projected to enjoy 3.1 percent annual growth.

If you are looking towards leveraging on the agriculture industry to generate huge income, then one of your best bet is to start cattle rearing business. Cattle rearing business is all about mass – breeding of cattle ( cows, oxen, bulls, bullocks, steers, heifers and calf et al ) for the sole aim of making profits. In most cases it is referred to as livestock farming business.

One thing is certain about cattle rearing business, if you are able to conduct your market research and feasibility studies , you are more likely not going to struggle to sell your cattle and its products because there are loads of people out there we eat beef, drink milk and industries that make use of byproducts from cattle in manufacturing their products.

Over and above there are few barriers to entry into the livestock production industry. Usually, all inputs are readily available. In the nearest future, players in this industry may face the highest costs associated with accessing technology, especially in relation to genetic modification engineering in livestock breeding.

So also, intellectual property rights protecting new inventions and technology may mean that new entrepreneurs coming into the industry will need to pay license fees and this of course will cause increase in the start – up fee for starting a livestock breeding/cattle rearing business.

2. Executive Summary

Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC is a registered and licensed livestock farming company that will be based in the outskirt of Dallas, Texas – United States. We have done our detailed market research and feasibility studies and we were able to secure a hundred acres of land to build our cattle ranch and start our cattle rearing business.

Our cattle ranch / cattle rearing business is a going to be standard one hence will be involved in commercial breeding of cows, oxen, bulls, bullocks, steers, heifers and calf et al. We will also be involved in boarding services, breeding services, dairy support services, livestock health services, farrier services, and shearing services as well.

In the nearest future, hopefully within the first five years of officially running Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC, we will start our meat processing plant and milk processing plant and also start exporting our products to other parts of the world.

Which is why aside from the fact that we’ve secured the required farming land for breeding cattle in commercial level, we have also hired some key employees who are currently undergoing training so as to be able to fit into the ideal picture of the 21 st century cattle rearing business workforce that we want to build.

We are in the cattle rearing business because we want to leverage on the vast opportunities available in the livestock farming industry, to contribute our quota in growing the U.S. economy, in national food (meat) production, raw materials production for industries, to export agriculture produce from the United States to other countries and over and above to make profit.

Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC is well positioned to become one of the leading cattle rearing business in the United States of America, which is why we have been able to source for the best hands and equipment to run the business.

We have put process and strategies in place that will help us employ best practices when it comes to cattle rearing processes, meat and milk processing and packaging as required by the regulating bodies in the United States of America.

Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC is a private registered livestock farming company that is owned by Perry Coleman and family. The company will be fully and single handedly financed by the owner – Perry Coleman and his immediate family members at least for a period of time.

Before starting Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC, Perry Coleman has worked with some of the leading livestock farms in the United States of America. He has worked in the industry for well over 10 years before resigning to start his own cattle rearing business.

3. Our Products and Services

Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC is a licensed livestock farming business that is committed to cattle rearing, meat and milk processing and packaging for both the United States’ market and the global market. We will also produce related raw materials for industries in commercial quantities.

We will also ensure that we operate a standard food processing plant as part of our complimentary business offering. These are the areas we will concentrate on in our livestock farming business. If need arises we will definitely add more related animal breeding services to our list;

  • Boarding services
  • Breeding services
  • Dairy support services
  • Livestock health services
  • Farrier services
  • Sale and export of cotton wool and other dairy products
  • Sale of Cattle and milk
  • Sale of processed meat (beef)/can – beef (Processed Diary foods, and can beef et al)
  • Shearing services
  • Livestock farming related consultancy and advisory services

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our Vision is to become one of the leading cattle rearing business brands not just in Dallas – Texas, but also in the United States of America.
  • Our mission is to sell our produce ( cattle, beef and milk ), byproducts and processed meat in commercial quantities both locally, nationally and internationally.
  • We want to build a cattle rearing business that can favorably compete with other leading livestock farming / cattle rearing brands in the United States of America and in the globe.

Our Business Structure

Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC is a cattle rearing company that intend starting small in Dallas – Texas, but hope to grow big in order to compete favorably with leading cattle rearing and livestock farms in the industry both in the United States and on a global stage.

We are aware of the importance of building a solid business structure that can support the picture of the kind of world class business we want to own. This is why we are committed to only hire the best hands in and around Dallas.

At Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC, we will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, hardworking, dedicated, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders ( the owners, workforce, and customers ).

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more as agreed by the management of the farm. In view of the above, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions; Below is the business structure of Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC;

  • Chief Operating Officer

General Farm Manager


  • Cattle Ranch Manager/Supervisor
  • Sales and Marketing Executive
  • Field Employees
  • Front Desk Officer

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Operating Officer:

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives; developing a climate for offering information and opinions; providing educational opportunities.
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization
  • Responsible for the planning, management and coordinating all farm activities across the various sections on behalf of the organization
  • Supervises other section manager
  • Ensures compliance during project executions
  • Provides advice on the management of farming activities across all section
  • Responsible for carrying out risk assessment
  • Using IT systems and software to keep track of people and progress of the growth of crops, fishes, birds and animals
  • Responsible for overseeing the accounting, costing and sale of farm produce after harvest
  • Represent the organization’s interest at various stakeholders meetings
  • Ensures that farming goals desired result are achieved, the most efficient resources (manpower, equipment, tools and chemicals et al) are utilized and different interests involved are satisfied. Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carries  out staff induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Oversees the smooth running of the daily farming activities across the various farming sections.
  • Defining job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carries out staff induction for new team members
  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the company
  • Serves as internal auditor for the company

Cattle Ranch and Animal Manager/Supervisor

  • Responsible for managing the commercial breeding of cattle (cows, oxen, bulls, bullocks, steers, heifers and calf et al)
  • Responsible for managing boarding services, breeding services, dairy support services, livestock health services, farrier services, and shearing services et al.
  • Works closely with the General Manager to achieve the organizations’ goals and objectives

Sales and Marketing Officer

  • Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of new business
  • Writing winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with company policy
  • Responsible for handling business research, marker surveys and feasibility studies for clients
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding increase sales
  • Documents all customer contact and information
  • Represents the company in strategic meetings
  • Helps to increase sales and growth for the company

Field Workers/Contract Staff

  • Responsible for feeding cattle and other livestock as instructed by the supervisor
  • Responsible for cleaning the cattle ranch
  • Change the water in the water trough/trench as instructed by the supervisor on a regular basis
  • Handles farm implements and machines as instructed by the section manager/supervisor
  • Assists in handling the breeding of cattle
  • Carries out task in line with the stated job description
  • Assist in transport working tools and equipment from the farm and back to the designated store room
  • Handles any other duties as assigned by the farm manager

Client Service Executive/Front Desk Officer

  • Welcomes guests and clients by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the cattle ranch manager in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the company’s products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients
  • Receives parcels/documents for the company
  • Distributes mails in the organization
  • Handles any other duties as assigned my the line manager

6. SWOT Analysis

Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC do not intend to launch out with trial and error hence the need to conduct a proper SWOT analysis.

We know that if we get it right from the onset, we would have succeeded in creating the foundation that will help us build a standard cattle rearing business that will favorably compete with leading cattle rearing/livestock farms in the United States of America and in the rest part of the world.

As a cattle rearing business, we look forward to maximizing our strength and opportunities and also to work around our weaknesses and threats. Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC;

Our strength as a cattle rearing business is the fact that we have healthy relationships with loads of major players (agriculture merchants) in the livestock farming industry; both suppliers and buyers within and outside of the United States.

We have some of the latest cattle rearing machines; tools and equipment that will help us breed our cattle (cows, oxen, bulls, bullocks, steers, heifers and calf et al) in commercial quantities with less stress. Aside from our relationship (network) and equipment, we can confidently boast that we have some the most experienced hands in cattle rearing/livestock farming industry in our payroll.

Our weakness could be that we are a new cattle rearing business in the United States and we may not have the required cash to pump into the publicity of our business. We are aware of this and from our projection will overcome this weakness with time and turn it to a major advantage for the business.

  • Opportunities:

The opportunities that are available to us cannot be quantified, we know that there are loads of homeowners, and industries that will source for cattle ( cows, oxen, bulls, bullocks, steers, heifers and calf et al ), beef, and milk and also industries that will source for the raw materials from our livestock farms both in the United States of America and other parts of the world.

Some of the threats and challenges that you are likely going to face when you start your own cattle rearing are global economic downturn that can impact negatively on household spending, bad weather cum natural disasters ( draughts, epidemics ), unfavorable government policies and the arrival of a competitor ( a commercial farm that rear same animals ) as our cattle ranch within same location.

There is hardly anything you can do as regards this threats and challenges other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for your good.


  • Market Trends

One of the common trends in the commercial cattle rearing or livestock farming line of business is that most players in the industry are no longer concentrating only on farming a particular species of livestock or just livestock / cattle farming alone.

They now find it easier to run both livestock farming and crop cultivation. Some even go ahead to include meat and milk processing and packaging business alongside their product offerings; it helps them 8. Our Target Market

Naturally, the target market of those who are the end consumer of livestock farm produce and also those who benefits from the business value chain of the agriculture industry is all encompassing; it is far – reaching.

Every household consumes produce from livestock farms be it meat, milk, and the skin (leather) used for bags, belts and shoes production et al. So also a large chunk of manufacturing companies depends on livestock farms for some of their raw materials. In essence a cattle farmer should be able to sell his or her farm produce to as many people as possible.

We will ensure that we position our business to attract consumers of agriculture produce not just in the United States of America alone but also other parts of the world which is why we will be exporting some of our farm produce either in raw form or processed form to other countries of the world.

Our Competitive Advantage

It is easier to find entrepreneur flocking towards an industry that is known to generate consistent income which is why there are more cattle ranches in the United States of America and of course in most parts of the world.

For example, Statistics has it that there were 2.2 million farms in the United States of America, covering an area of 922 million acres. These goes to show that there are appreciable numbers of farmers in the United States of America but that does not mean that there is stiffer competition in the industry.

As a matter of fact, entrepreneurs are encouraged by the government to embrace commercial farming / livestock farming. This is so because part of the success of any nation is her ability to cultivate her own food and also export foods to other nations of the world.

Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC is fully aware that there are competitions when it comes to selling livestock and meats all over the globe, which is why we decided to carry out thorough research so as to know how to take advantage of the available market in the United States and in other parts of the world.

We have done our homework and we have been able to highlight some factors that will give us competitive advantage in the marketplace; some of the factors are effective and reliable livestock farming processes that can help us sell our livestock and processed meat and milk at competitive prices, good network and excellent relationship management.

Another competitive advantage that we are bringing to the industry is the fact that we have designed our business in such a way that we will operate an all – round standard commercial livestock farms that will be involved in diverse areas such as animal rearing and meat and milk processing and packaging plant. With this, we will be able to take advantage of all the available opportunities within the industry.

Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be amongst the best in the industry meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our objectives as a standard commercial cattle rearing business with a meat and milk processing and packaging plant.


  • Sources of Income

Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC is in the livestock breeding industry for the purpose of maximizing profits hence we have decided to explore all the available opportunities within the industry to achieve our corporate goals and objectives.

In essence we are not going to rely only on the sale of our livestock to generate income for the business. Below are the sources we intend exploring to generate income for Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC;

  • Sale of Cattle(cows, oxen, bulls, bullocks, steers, heifers and calf et al)  and milk

10. Sales Forecast

From the survey conducted, we were able to discover that the sales generated by a commercial livestock farm / cattle rearing business depends on the size of the ranch, the network of the business. We have been able to critically examine the cattle rearing industry cum commercial livestock farm business and we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast.

The sales projection is based on information gathered on the field and some workable assumptions as well with respect to the nature of cattle rearing business that we run. Below are the projections that we were able to come up with for the first three years of running Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC;

  • First Fiscal Year-: $200,000
  • Second Fiscal Year-: $450,000
  • Third Fiscal Year-: $700,000

N.B : This projection is done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown that can impact negatively on household spending, bad weather cum natural disasters (draughts, epidemics), and unfavorable government policies.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

We are quite aware that the reason why some commercial livestock farms hardly make good profits is their inability to sell off their livestock to a larger market. In view of that, we decided to set up a standard meat and milk processing and packing plant to help us maximize profits.

Over and above, we have perfected our sale and marketing strategies first by networking with agriculture merchants and companies that rely on raw materials from the livestock farming industry who are likely to refer become our customers.

In summary, Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC will adopt the following strategies in marketing our cattle rearing produce;

  • Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to stake holders in the agriculture industry, companies that rely on the livestock farming industry for their raw materials, hotels and restaurants and agriculture produce merchant et al.
  • Advertise our business and livestock farms in agro – allied and food related magazines and websites
  • List our commercial livestock farms on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Attend related agriculture and food expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our business
  • Engage in direct marketing
  • Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Any business that wants to grow beyond the corner of the street or the city they are operating from must be ready and willing to utilize every available means ( both conventional and non – conventional means ) to advertise and promote the business. We intend growing our business which is why we have perfected plans to build our brand via every available means.

We know that it is important to create strategies that will help us boost our brand awareness and to create a corporate identity for our cattle rearing business. Below are the platforms we want to leverage on to boost our cattle rearing brand and to promote and advertise our business;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community based events / programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook , twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote our business
  • Install our Bill Boards on strategic locations all around Dallas – Texas
  • Engage in road show from time to time in targeted neighborhoods
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Contact corporate organizations and residence in our target areas by calling them up and informing them of Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC and the farm produce we sell
  • List our commercial livestock farms in local directories / yellow pages
  • Advertise our commercial cattle ranch in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site.
  • Ensure that all our staff members wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles and trucks are well branded with our company logo et al.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

Some of the factors that will help you sell your farm produce at the right price that will guarantee that you make profits is dependent on your strategy while some of the factors are beyond your control. For example, if the climatic condition is unfavorable and if there is natural disaster in the location where you have your commercial livestock farm, then it will directly affect the prices of your livestock.

Over and above, if you want to get the right pricing for your livestock, then you should ensure that you choose a good location for your cattle ranch, choose a good breed that will guarantee steady and multiple breeding (prolific breeds), cut the cost of running your farm to the barest minimum.

And of course try as much as possible to attract buyers to your farm as against taking your livestock or even your produce to the market to source for buyers; with this, you would have successfully eliminate the cost of transporting the goods to the market and other logistics.

We are quite aware that one of the easiest means of penetrating the market and acquiring loads of customers for all our cattle rearing produce is to sell them at competitive prices hence we will do all we can to ensure that the prices of our livestock and processed and packaged beef and milk are going to be what other commercial livestock farmers would look towards beating.

One thing is certain; the nature of cattle rearing business we are involved in makes it possible for farmers to place prices for their livestock/farm products based on their discretion without following the benchmark in the industry. The truth is that it is one of the means of avoiding running into loss. The easier you sell off your livestock when they are mature the better for your business.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.

Here are the payment options that Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via bank draft

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for farm produces purchase without any stress on their part.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

When it comes to calculating the cost of starting a cattle rearing business / commercial livestock farm, there are some key factors that should serve as a guide. The most important expenses is the construction of the cattle ranch / cages/fencing as the case may be.

For example, the start – up cost for a fish farm is different from the start – up cost for mechanized crop farming, so also the start – up cost for poultry farming is different from the start – up cost of cattle ranch (dairy farm) et al. As a matter of fact, if you choose to start a mechanized crop farming, then you should be willing to raise huge capital base to start the business.

This is so because some cultivation machines/equipment can be pretty expensive. Below are some of the basic areas we will spend our start – up capital in setting up our cattle rearing business/cattle ranch;

  • The Total Fee for incorporating the Business in United States of America – $750.
  • The budget for key insurance policies, permits and business license – $2,500
  • The amount needed to acquire/lease a farm land  – $150,000
  • The amount required for preparing the farm land (for construction of cattle ranch and cages/fencing et al et al) – $100,000
  • The cost for acquiring the required working tools and equipment/machines/fencing et al– $50,000
  • The amount required for purchase of the first set of cattle (cows, oxen, bulls, bullocks, steers, heifers and calf et al) – $150,000
  • The Cost of Launching an official Website – $600
  • The amount required for payment of workers for a period of 3 months – $100,000
  • Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $2,000

Going by the report from detailed research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need an average of $650,000 to start a standard cattle rearing/commercial livestock farming business in the United States of America.

Generating Funding/Startup Jonah Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC

No matter how fantastic your business idea might be, if you don’t have the required money to finance the business, the business might not become a reality. Finance is a very important factor when it comes to starting a business such as cattle rearing.

No doubt raising start – up capital for a business might not come cheap, but it is a task that an entrepreneur must go through.

Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC is a family owned business and it will be financed by the owners of the cattle ranch – Perry Coleman and family. These are the areas where we intend sourcing for fund for Jonah Livingston and Family Farms Ltd;

  • Generate part of the start – up capital from personal savings and sale of his stocks
  • Generate part of the start – up capital from friends and other extended family members
  • Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank (loan facility).

N.B: We have been able to generate about $200,000 (Personal savings $150,000 and soft loan from family members $50,000 ) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $450,000 from our bank. All the papers and document has been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of a business lies in the numbers of loyal customers that they have the capacity and competence of the employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business (company), then it won’t be too long before the business close shop.

One of our major goals of starting Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running.

We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to sell our farm produce ( livestock and processed beef and milk ) a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are well prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.

Perry Coleman and Family Cattle Ranch, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our organization’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner of our business strategy.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more as determined by the management of the organization. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check : Completed
  • Business Incorporation: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts various banks in the United States: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of All form of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Leasing of farm land in Dallas – Texas: Completed
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Start – up Capital Generation: Completed
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: Completed
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Building /construction of cages and fence et al: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed working tools, machines and equipment: Completed
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
  • Farm land Treatment, Health and Safety Arrangement: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with key players in the industry (agriculture farm produce merchants and transporter / haulage): Completed

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Cattle Farming Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Cattle Farming Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to create your Cattle Farming business plan.

We have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their cattle farms.

Below is a template to help you create each section of your Cattle Farm business plan.

Executive Summary

Business overview.

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm, located in Des Moines, Iowa, is a registered and licensed cattle farming company. The company operates a 500 acre farm that is home to over 300 cows, all of which are raised in an all-natural environment (no antibiotics, hormones, steroids, etc) and all animals are grass-fed. Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm is also fully equipped with the latest technology and equipment used in the cattle farming industry.

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm is founded and run by Matthew Jones. Matthew has been a cattle farm operations manager for the past ten years, so he has in-depth knowledge and experience running a business in this industry. Matthew will run the general operations and administrative functions of the company and hire other employees to manage the sales and day-to-day operations.

Product Offering

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm will be involved in the commercial breeding of cows to provide the following products:

  • Ground Beef

Customer Focus

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm will target all residents living in Des Moines, Iowa and the surrounding areas. We will also target supermarkets, restaurants, and other retailers who are interested in selling our products to the public.

Management Team

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm’s most valuable asset is the expertise and experience of its founder, Matthew Jones. Matthew has been a cattle farm operations manager for the past ten years, so he has in-depth knowledge and experience running a business in this industry. Matthew will run the general operations and administrative functions of the company and hire other employees to manage the sales and day-to-day operations.

Success Factors

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:

  • Management: The company’s management team has years of business and marketing experience that allows them to market and serve customers in an improved and sophisticated manner than the competitors.
  • Relationships: Having lived in the community for 20 years, Matthew Jones knows all of the local leaders, media, and other influencers. As such, it will be relatively easy for Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm to build brand awareness and an initial customer base.
  • Quality products at affordable pricing: The company will provide quality products at affordable pricing, as it has high-quality equipment and uses the latest techniques.
  • Good packaging: Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm will utilize product-oriented packaging materials that can reduce the damage in the products at the time of supply.

Financial Highlights

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm is currently seeking $750,000 to start the company. The funding will be dedicated towards securing the farm land and purchasing the necessary equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated towards three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff and marketing costs for the farm. The breakout of the funding is below:

  • Land and Equipment: $250,000
  • Cattle Care Supplies: $100,000
  • Overhead Costs: $100,000
  • Three Months of Overhead Expenses (Payroll, Rent, Utilities): $150,000
  • Marketing Costs: $50,000
  • Working Capital: $100,000

The following graph below outlines the pro forma financial projections for Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm.

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm Financial Projections

Company Overview

Who is pleasant hill cattle farm.

  Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm is founded and run by Matthew Jones. Matthew has been a cattle farm operations manager for the past ten years, so he has in-depth knowledge and experience running a business in this industry. Matthew will run the general operations and administrative functions of the company and hire other employees to manage the sales and day-to-day operations.

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm History

Matthew Jones is an entrepreneur who seeks to contribute to the growing US economy through cattle farming. Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm will become a recognized cattle farming company in Des Moines, Iowa, ensuring a continuous supply of cattle, milk, meat, and other dairy products.

Matthew has selected an initial location and is currently undergoing due diligence on it and the local market to assess if it is a suitable location for a commercial cattle farm.

Since incorporation, the company has achieved the following milestones:

  • Found a farm location
  • Developed the company’s name, logo, and website
  • Determined supply requirements
  • Began recruiting key employees

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm Services

Industry analysis.

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm competes against large-scale cattle farmers in the U.S. With the largest fed-cattle industry in the world, the United States is also the world’s largest producer of beef, primarily high-quality, grain-fed beef for domestic and export use. According to the USDA, beef cattle production in the US is one of the largest agricultural industries, making up 17% of the agricultural sector. Though the industry has declined slightly in the past few years, the market size of the Beef Cattle Production industry is expected to increase by 4.5% over the next five years.

Improving the living standards of the people in the country has resulted in a shift in meat preferences, with most choosing beef-based products rather than products derived from pork and chicken. This trend has helped increase revenues and allowed the industry to grow. However, the beef cattle production industry faces many challenges including droughts, the price of feed, and the increasing popularity of plant-based diets.

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market.

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm will primarily serve local residents and retailers of cattle dairy products and meat within a 30-mile radius of the farm. These businesses typically gross from $5 million to $10 million in annual revenues and source their supplies from within a 30-mile radius of their facilities.

The precise demographics for Des Moines, Iowa are:

    Total population1,680,988100%
        20 to 24 years114,8726.8%
        25 to 34 years273,58816.3%
        35 to 44 years235,94614.0%
        45 to 54 years210,25612.5%
        55 to 59 years105,0576.2%
        60 to 64 years87,4845.2%
        65 to 74 years116,8787.0%
        75 to 84 years52,5243.1%

Customer Segmentation

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm will primarily target the following customer profiles:

  • Grocery Stores
  • Local Residents

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors.

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.

Shayla Farms

Shayla Farms is one of the large-scale cattle farms in the US, owning an 8,000 ha area. It has well-established relationships with local retailers. It has been in business for 32 years. Shayla Farms offers good quality dairy products and meat. It also has automated equipment and machines, which helps in improving its operations. Moreover, it is also known for delivering large orders at the right time without delay.

Crimson Cattle Farm

Crimson Cattle Farm has been operating since 1995 and is a well-known company that provides good quality beef with affordable pricing as it has effective and efficient cattle rearing machines. It majorly targets local companies and retailers and has a large distribution network that can serve customers up to a 500-mile radius. Crimson Cattle Farm also has a very effective distribution and supply chain network. However, Crimson Cattle Farm’s offerings are only limited to beef.

Cattle USA has been in business for the past 50 years and enjoys great success. It is one of the largest beef producers in the 200-mile area. It easily caters to local residents primarily due to its prime location. It provides beef and a variety of dairy products including: cheese, yogurt, meat and milk.

Competitive Advantage

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:

Marketing Plan

Brand & value proposition.

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:

  • Efficient and effective delivery network
  • Good packaging
  • Quality products at affordable pricing
  • Providing excellent customer service and customer experiences

Promotions Strategy

The promotions strategy for Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm is as follows:

Social Media Marketing

Social media is one of the most cost-effective and practical marketing methods for improving brand visibility. The company will use social media to develop engaging content, such as sharing pictures of the cows and creating educational content about the cattle farm industry.


Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm will develop a professional website that showcases pictures of the farm and the cows. It will also invest in SEO so that the company’s website will appear at the top of search engine results.

Word of Mouth/Referrals

Matthew Jones has built up an extensive list of contacts over the years by living and working in the midwestern farming industry. Since a number of local cattle farms have ceased operations, they have committed to Matthew that Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm will be their cattle supplier. They trust his work ethic and commitment to the local community.

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm will highlight our location, cows, and products on a major billboard facing the busiest highway in town. The billboard will provide the location of Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm and the website URL.

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm’s pricing will be moderate, so customers feel they receive great value when availing of the products. Pricing will be about 50% lower than retail prices to allow wholesalers and retailers to earn their margins.

Operations Plan

Operation Functions: The following will be the operations plan for Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm.

  • Matthew Jones will be the Owner and President of the company. He will oversee all staff and manage client relations. Matthew has spent the past year recruiting the following staff:
  • Sue Smith – will oversee all administrative aspects of running the cattle farm. This will include bookkeeping, tax payments, and payroll of the staff.
  • George Baird– Head Farmhand who will oversee the farming staff and day to day operations.
  • Ben Brown– Assistant Farmhand who will assist George.
  • Frank White– Distribution Manager who will oversee the packaging and distribution of all products.


Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm will have the following milestones complete in the next six months.

  • 6/202X – Finalize purchase of farm land
  • 7/202X – Purchase farm equipment, supplies and materials
  • 8/202X – Finalize contracts for grocery store, chain, and restaurant clients
  • 9/202X – Purchase initial set of cows
  • 10/202X – Hire and train farm staff
  • 11/202X – Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm begins farm operations

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm’s revenues will come from the sales of cattle meat and dairy products to its customers. The major costs for the company will be the cost of land and equipment. The staff will earn competitive salaries allowing Pleasant Hill Cattle Farm to hire experienced workers. In the initial years, the company’s marketing spend will be high, as it establishes itself in the market.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

Key assumptions.

The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and pay off the startup business loan.

  • Number of Cows: 300
  • Average Revenue per Animal: $500
  • Number of Products Sold Per Year: 100,000

Financial Projections

Income statement.

FY 1FY 2FY 3FY 4FY 5
Total Revenues$360,000$793,728$875,006$964,606$1,063,382
Expenses & Costs
Cost of goods sold$64,800$142,871$157,501$173,629$191,409
Initial expenditure$10,000$0$0$0$0
Total Expenses & Costs$291,815$416,151$454,000$483,240$514,754
EBITDA$68,185 $377,577 $421,005 $481,366 $548,628
Depreciation$27,160$27,160 $27,160 $27,160 $27,160
EBIT$41,025 $350,417 $393,845$454,206$521,468
Interest$23,462$20,529 $17,596 $14,664 $11,731
PRETAX INCOME$17,563 $329,888 $376,249 $439,543 $509,737
Net Operating Loss$0$0$0$0$0
Use of Net Operating Loss$0$0$0$0$0
Taxable Income$17,563$329,888$376,249$439,543$509,737
Income Tax Expense$6,147$115,461$131,687$153,840$178,408
NET INCOME$11,416 $214,427 $244,562 $285,703 $331,329

Balance Sheet

FY 1FY 2FY 3FY 4FY 5
Accounts receivable$0$0$0$0$0
Total Current Assets$184,257$381,832$609,654$878,742$1,193,594
Fixed assets$180,950$180,950$180,950$180,950$180,950
Depreciation$27,160$54,320$81,480$108,640 $135,800
Net fixed assets$153,790 $126,630 $99,470 $72,310 $45,150
TOTAL ASSETS$338,047$508,462$709,124$951,052$1,238,744
Debt$315,831$270,713$225,594$180,475 $135,356
Accounts payable$10,800$11,906$13,125$14,469 $15,951
Total Liability$326,631 $282,618 $238,719 $194,944 $151,307
Share Capital$0$0$0$0$0
Retained earnings$11,416 $225,843 $470,405 $756,108$1,087,437
Total Equity$11,416$225,843$470,405$756,108$1,087,437
TOTAL LIABILITIES & EQUITY$338,047$508,462$709,124$951,052$1,238,744

Cash Flow Statement

FY 1FY 2FY 3FY 4FY 5
Net Income (Loss)$11,416 $214,427 $244,562 $285,703$331,329
Change in working capital($19,200)($1,966)($2,167)($2,389)($2,634)
Depreciation$27,160 $27,160 $27,160 $27,160 $27,160
Net Cash Flow from Operations$19,376 $239,621 $269,554 $310,473 $355,855
Net Cash Flow from Investments($180,950)$0$0$0$0
Cash from equity$0$0$0$0$0
Cash from debt$315,831 ($45,119)($45,119)($45,119)($45,119)
Net Cash Flow from Financing$315,831 ($45,119)($45,119)($45,119)($45,119)
Net Cash Flow$154,257$194,502 $224,436 $265,355$310,736
Cash at Beginning of Period$0$154,257$348,760$573,195$838,550
Cash at End of Period$154,257$348,760$573,195$838,550$1,149,286

Cattle Farming Business Plan FAQs

What is a cattle farming business plan.

A cattle farming business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your cattle farming business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can easily complete your Cattle Farming business plan using our Cattle Farming Business Plan Template here .

What are the Main Types of Cattle Farming Businesses?

There are a number of different kinds of cattle farming businesses , some examples include: Cow-calf, Backgrounding, Finishing, and Specific Breed.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Cattle Farming Business Plan?

Cattle Farming businesses are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding.

What are the Steps To Start a Cattle Farming Business?

Starting a cattle farming business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.

1. Develop A Cattle Farming Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed cattle farming business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast. 

2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your cattle farming business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your cattle farming business is in compliance with local laws.

3. Register Your Cattle Farming Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your cattle farming business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws.

4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your cattle farming business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms.

5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations.

6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events.

7. Acquire Necessary Cattle Farming Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your cattle farming business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation.

8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your cattle farming business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising. 

Learn more about how to start a successful cattle farming business:

  • How to Start a Cattle Farm Business

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How To Write a Business Plan for Beef Cattle Farm in 9 Steps: Checklist

By henry sheykin, beef cattle farm bundle.


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Are you passionate about beef cattle farming and interested in starting your own business? Look no further! In this blog post, we will guide you through the essential steps to create a successful business plan for your beef cattle farm. The beef industry is booming, with a growing demand for high-quality, locally sourced products. By following this comprehensive checklist, you can ensure that your business is well-prepared and positioned for success in the direct-to-consumer market.

The beef industry is thriving in the US. According to recent statistics, the United States is the largest producer and consumer of beef in the world. In 2020, the industry generated over $67 billion in revenue, showcasing the immense potential for profitability. With consumers increasingly seeking out local, sustainable, and traceable food options, now is the perfect time to enter the market and establish a beef cattle farm that caters directly to these demands.

Step 1: Conduct market research. Before diving into your business plan, it is crucial to thoroughly research the beef industry and identify trends, opportunities, and potential competitors. This will help you understand the market demand, pricing strategies, and customer preferences.

Step 2: Define your target audience. Knowing your ideal customer is essential for effective marketing and building customer loyalty. Consider demographics, buying behaviors, and their preferences for locally sourced, high-quality beef.

Step 3: Assess financial resources. Determine your financial standing and assess the resources available for starting and maintaining your beef cattle farm. Consider costs such as land, equipment, animal acquisition, feed, and marketing expenses.

Step 4: Develop a detailed business concept. Create a clear and well-defined business concept that outlines your objectives, mission, and unique selling propositions. This will help you differentiate your beef cattle farm and build a strong brand presence.

Step 5: Identify potential risks and challenges. Recognize the potential risks and challenges that may arise in the beef cattle industry, such as disease outbreaks, market fluctuations, or changes in consumer preferences. Be prepared with contingency plans to address these potential obstacles.

Step 6: Determine location and land requirements. Find the ideal location for your beef cattle farm, considering factors such as access to forage, proximity to markets, and availability of infrastructure. Additionally, assess the land requirements to accommodate the size of your herd.

Step 7: Calculate start-up costs and ongoing expenses. Determine the start-up costs involved in establishing your business, including land, infrastructure, animals, equipment, and marketing. Additionally, calculate ongoing expenses such as feed, veterinary care, and maintenance.

Step 8: Evaluate marketing and sales strategies. Develop effective marketing and sales strategies to promote your beef products and reach your target audience. Consider utilizing farmers' markets, online stores, or meat subscription boxes to directly connect with consumers.

Step 9: Create a production plan. Establish a production plan that outlines your breeding, feeding, and management strategies for your beef cattle farm. This will help ensure efficient operations and the consistent supply of high-quality products.

By following these nine essential steps, you can create an effective business plan for your beef cattle farm and position yourself for success in the thriving direct-to-consumer market. Happy farming!

Conduct Market Research

Market research is an essential step in developing a successful business plan for your beef cattle farm. By conducting thorough research, you gain crucial insights into the current market trends, consumer preferences, and competitive landscape. These insights will enable you to make informed decisions that will shape your business strategy and set you up for long-term success.

To conduct market research effectively, start by identifying your target market. This includes understanding the demographics, preferences, and purchasing behavior of your potential customers. Analyze their needs and preferences in terms of beef products, such as specific cuts and quality requirements.

Tips for conducting market research:

  • Utilize online resources: Explore industry reports, market data, and trends from reputable sources. Research the demand for locally sourced beef, sustainable farming practices, and health-conscious consumer trends.
  • Survey potential customers: Develop online surveys or conduct face-to-face interviews to gauge consumer preferences, gathering insights on purchasing habits, price sensitivity, and market needs.
  • Visit farmers' markets and similar venues: Observe the competition, meet potential customers, and gather feedback on their preferences and experiences.
  • Analyze your competitors: Identify other local beef cattle farms and study their business models, pricing strategies, and marketing techniques. Assess their strengths and weaknesses to position your farm effectively in the market.

By conducting comprehensive market research, you will gain a deep understanding of your target audience, their needs, and the competitive landscape. This knowledge will serve as the foundation for crafting a strong business plan and making informed decisions throughout the development and growth of your beef cattle farm.

Beef Cattle Farm Financial Model Get Template

Define Your Target Audience

Defining your target audience is a crucial step in developing a successful business plan for your beef cattle farm. By understanding who your ideal customers are, you can tailor your marketing strategies to reach and resonate with them effectively.

1. Identify demographics: Start by analyzing the demographics of your target audience. Consider factors such as age, gender, income level, and geographic location. This information will help you better understand who is most likely to purchase your product and allows you to tailor your messaging and branding accordingly.

2. Research consumer preferences: Gain insights into the preferences and buying behaviors of your target audience. Are they health-conscious individuals looking for organic and grass-fed beef? Or are they budget-conscious consumers seeking affordable, quality meat options? Knowing these preferences will guide your product offerings and pricing strategies.

3. Determine communication channels: Figure out where your target audience spends their time and how they prefer to receive information. Are they active on social media? Do they prefer reading blogs or attending local food events? Identifying these communication channels will help you develop effective marketing campaigns and establish a strong online presence.

  • Engage with your target audience through social media platforms to build brand awareness and foster relationships.
  • Attend local farmers' markets or community events to directly interact with potential customers and gather feedback.
  • Consider conducting surveys or focus groups to gain deeper insights into your target audience's preferences and needs.

4. Explore niche markets: Consider focusing on a specific niche within your target audience. This could be customers seeking ethically raised beef or those interested in supporting local agriculture. By specializing in a niche market, you can differentiate your beef products and establish a unique selling proposition.

5. Continuously reevaluate: Keep in mind that target audience preferences and behaviors may evolve over time. Stay current with industry trends and regularly reassess your target audience to ensure that your business remains aligned with their needs and desires.

Defining your target audience is a fundamental step in developing an effective business plan for your beef cattle farm. By understanding who your customers are and what they want, you can tailor your products, marketing strategies, and brand messaging to maximize your success in the direct-to-consumer beef market.

Assess Financial Resources

When starting a beef cattle farm, it is crucial to assess your financial resources to ensure that you have the necessary funds to support your business. Understanding your financial capabilities will help you make informed decisions, develop a realistic budget, and secure necessary funding.

To assess your financial resources, consider the following:

  • Calculate your initial investment: Determine the amount of money you will need to establish and set up your beef cattle farm. This includes purchasing land, equipment, cattle, and other necessary supplies.
  • Evaluate your funding options: Research different funding sources such as personal savings, loans, grants, or partnerships. Evaluate the pros and cons of each option and determine which one aligns best with your financial goals and capabilities.
  • Estimate ongoing expenses: Consider the recurring costs associated with running a beef cattle farm, including feed, veterinary care, utilities, and labor. Estimating these expenses will help you develop a realistic budget and ensure you can sustain your operations.
  • Investigate government assistance programs: Research government programs that offer financial assistance, grants, or subsidized loans specifically for agricultural businesses. These programs can provide valuable support and reduce your financial burden.
  • Build a contingency fund: It's always wise to have a contingency fund to cover unexpected expenses or emergencies. Set aside a portion of your budget as a safety net, so you can handle any unforeseen challenges without compromising the viability of your beef cattle farm.
  • Seek professional financial advice: If you're not familiar with financial management or need help analyzing your resources, consult with a financial advisor or accountant who specializes in agricultural businesses. They can provide expert guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.

By thoroughly assessing your financial resources, you will be better equipped to make informed decisions and ensure the financial stability and success of your beef cattle farm in the long run.

Develop A Detailed Business Concept

Developing a detailed business concept is a crucial step in writing a business plan for your beef cattle farm. This is where you outline the specifics of your business and how it will operate. The business concept should include important information such as the type of beef cattle you will produce, the size of your operation, and the unique selling points that will set your farm apart from competitors.

Start by clearly defining the purpose and goals of your beef cattle farm. Are you aiming to provide locally sourced, high-quality beef to a specific geographical area? Or do you have a niche market in mind, such as grass-fed or organic beef? Clearly articulating your business goals will guide your decision-making and help you stay focused as you move forward.

Next, identify your target market and the demand for your products. Research consumer preferences and trends in beef consumption, and use this information to shape your business concept. Will you target health-conscious consumers looking for lean cuts of beef? Or perhaps you will focus on serving premium cuts to discerning customers who value quality and flavor. Understanding your target market will enable you to tailor your marketing and product offerings accordingly.

  • Tip 1: Consider conducting surveys or market research to gather feedback and insights from potential customers. This will help you refine your business concept and ensure that you are meeting the needs of your target audience.
  • Tip 2: Analyze your competitors and identify what sets your beef cattle farm apart. Is it your farming practices, the breed of cattle you raise, or the sustainable and ethical approach you take? Highlight these unique selling points in your business concept to attract customers who align with your values.
  • Tip 3: Understand the legal and regulatory requirements specific to the beef cattle industry. This includes obtaining necessary licenses, permits, and certifications to ensure compliance with food safety and animal welfare standards. Incorporate these requirements into your business concept to demonstrate your commitment to operating a responsible and legal farm.

Lastly, outline your marketing and sales strategies in your business concept. How will you promote and sell your beef products directly to consumers? Will you participate in farmers' markets, establish an online store, or offer meat subscription boxes? Choose marketing channels that align with your target market and provide opportunities for direct engagement with your customers.

Remember, developing a detailed business concept is not only crucial for creating your business plan but also for establishing a solid foundation for your beef cattle farm. It will guide your decision-making, attract customers, and set you on the path to success.

Identify Potential Risks And Challenges

When starting a beef cattle farm, it is crucial to identify and acknowledge potential risks and challenges that may arise. By doing so, you can effectively plan and mitigate any negative impacts on your business. Here are some important factors to consider:

  • Market volatility: The beef industry can be influenced by various factors such as changes in consumer preferences, weather conditions, and economic fluctuations. Stay updated on market trends and be prepared to adapt your business strategies accordingly.
  • Regulatory compliance: Understand and comply with the regulations and standards set by local, state, and federal authorities. This includes guidelines for animal welfare, food safety, and environmental preservation.
  • Disease management: Cattle are susceptible to diseases and health issues. Implement a proactive disease management plan that includes vaccination schedules, regular check-ups, and biosecurity measures to minimize the risk of outbreaks.
  • Feed and forage availability: Ensure a consistent and reliable supply of high-quality feed and forage for your cattle. Droughts, floods, and other natural disasters can greatly affect availability and prices, so consider establishing relationships with multiple suppliers.
  • Financial challenges: Starting and running a beef cattle farm requires a significant investment. Be prepared for potential financial hurdles such as fluctuating feed costs, veterinary expenses, equipment maintenance, and unexpected emergencies.
  • Labor management: Running a cattle farm requires physical labor and skilled expertise. Ensure you have a reliable team or consider outsourcing certain tasks to professionals when needed.
  • Regularly network and communicate with other cattle farmers to stay informed about industry challenges and best practices.
  • Stay updated on emerging technologies and advancements in livestock and farm management to enhance efficiency and productivity.
  • Consider diversifying your income sources by exploring value-added products, such as beef jerky or specialty cuts, to minimize the impact of potential market fluctuations.
  • Develop a comprehensive emergency response plan to quickly address any unexpected challenges or crises that may arise.

Determine Location And Land Requirements

When starting a beef cattle farm, one of the key considerations is the location and land requirements for the operation. Choosing the right location and acquiring suitable land are crucial factors that can greatly impact the success of your business.

Firstly, you should identify a location that is suitable for beef cattle farming . This includes considering factors such as climate, soil quality, access to water sources, and availability of grazing land. Cattle require adequate pasture for grazing, so it is important to ensure that the location you choose can support their nutritional needs. Additionally, the climate should be conducive to raising beef cattle, as extreme weather conditions can negatively affect their health and productivity.

  • Consider researching different regions or states that are known for their beef cattle farming industry. This can provide valuable insights into the most favorable locations for your farm.
  • Consult with local agricultural experts or extension offices to gain knowledge about the suitability of different areas for raising beef cattle.
  • Visit potential locations and assess the quality of the soil, availability of water sources, and the presence of suitable grazing land.
  • Look for areas near transportation networks, such as highways or railroads, which can facilitate the transportation of cattle and products to customers.

Once you have identified a suitable location, the next step is to acquire the necessary land for your beef cattle farm . The amount of land required will depend on factors such as the number of cattle you plan to raise, the type of production system you will employ, and your future expansion plans.

  • Calculate the approximate amount of land needed per head of cattle, taking into account factors such as grazing area, feeding space, and infrastructure requirements.
  • Consider purchasing or leasing land that provides sufficient space for your current and future needs, allowing for potential herd expansion and additional infrastructure development.
  • Ensure that the land you choose complies with local zoning regulations and permits livestock farming.
  • Consider consulting with a livestock farm planner or agricultural engineer to help determine the appropriate land size and layout for your operation.

Calculate Start-Up Costs And Ongoing Expenses

When starting a beef cattle farm, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the financial aspects involved. Calculating the start-up costs and ongoing expenses will help you determine the amount of capital required and ensure that your business remains financially sustainable in the long run.

The first step in calculating start-up costs is to make a comprehensive list of all the expenses you will incur when launching your beef cattle farm. This includes the cost of purchasing cattle, equipment, and infrastructure such as fencing, shelters, and feeding systems. Additionally, consider expenses related to permits, licenses, and insurance.

Once you have identified all the necessary items, research the cost of each component . Reach out to suppliers, visit local agricultural stores, and consult with industry experts to get accurate pricing information. This will help you develop a realistic estimate of the initial investment required to get your farm up and running.

  • Consider purchasing used equipment or leasing certain items to reduce start-up costs.
  • Factor in additional expenses such as veterinary care, feed, and transportation costs.
  • Allocate a contingency budget to account for unexpected expenses or emergencies.

It is equally important to evaluate the ongoing expenses that your business will incur on a regular basis. This includes costs associated with animal care and welfare, such as feed, veterinary services, and medication. Additionally, consider labor costs, utilities, marketing expenses, and any other overhead costs that your farm will need to cover.

Estimating ongoing expenses requires careful consideration and research. Speak with other cattle farmers, join industry associations, and consult with agricultural experts to gain insights on average costs in your area. Additionally, explore ways to optimize expenses and streamline operations to increase profitability.

  • Keep detailed records of your expenses to track your financial performance and identify areas for potential cost-saving.
  • Regularly review and revise your budget to ensure it aligns with market conditions, inflation rates, and any changes in your production plan.

By accurately calculating your start-up costs and ongoing expenses, you can develop a sustainable financial plan for your beef cattle farm. This will enable you to make informed decisions, secure necessary funding, and ensure the long-term viability of your business.

Evaluate Marketing And Sales Strategies

When it comes to starting a beef cattle farm, it is crucial to evaluate your marketing and sales strategies to ensure the success and profitability of your business. Here are some important factors to consider:

  • Identify your target market: Understanding your target audience is essential for developing effective marketing and sales strategies. Determine whether you will focus on local consumers, restaurants, or other direct-to-consumer channels like farmers' markets and online stores.
  • Analyze your competition: Research and analyze other beef cattle farms in your area or similar markets to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and pricing strategies. This will help you differentiate your products and create a competitive advantage.
  • Determine pricing and positioning: Set competitive yet profitable prices for your beef products. Consider factors such as production costs, market demand, and perceived value to determine the optimal pricing strategy. Position your products as high-quality, locally sourced, and sustainable to attract customers.
  • Develop a marketing plan: Create a comprehensive marketing plan that outlines the various channels and tactics you will utilize to reach your target audience. This may include online advertising, social media marketing, participation in local events, collaborations with other local businesses, and more.

Tips for effective marketing and sales strategies:

  • Build a strong brand image: Develop a unique brand identity and communicate your farm's values, mission, and story to establish an emotional connection with your target audience.
  • Utilize social media: Leverage platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to showcase your farm, products, and engage with potential customers. Share behind-the-scenes content, recipes, and educational posts to build a loyal following.
  • Offer promotions and incentives: Attract new customers and encourage repeat business by offering discounts, loyalty programs, bundle deals, or even free samples. Word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied customers can go a long way.
  • Foster collaborations: Consider partnering with local restaurants, chefs, or food bloggers to promote your products and reach a wider audience. Collaborative events, recipe features, and endorsements can help generate buzz and increase sales.

By carefully evaluating and fine-tuning your marketing and sales strategies, you can effectively promote your beef cattle farm, attract customers, and establish a strong presence in the market. Remember to regularly assess and adapt your strategies based on customer feedback, market trends, and changing preferences to ensure long-term success.

Create A Production Plan

Creating a production plan is crucial for the success of your beef cattle farm. This plan outlines the various aspects of your production process, including herd management, breeding, feeding, and health care. Here are some key steps to consider when creating your production plan:

  • Determine your herd size: Decide on the number of cattle you want to raise and the breeds you will focus on. Consider factors such as land capacity, market demand, and available resources.
  • Develop a breeding strategy: Determine how you will breed your cattle, whether through natural mating or artificial insemination. Consider selecting quality bulls and maintaining a breeding schedule to ensure a consistent supply of calves.
  • Establish a feeding program: Create a feeding plan that meets the nutritional needs of your cattle at different life stages. This includes providing a balanced diet of forage, grains, and supplements. Consult with a nutritionist or veterinarian for guidance.
  • Implement a health care protocol: Develop a comprehensive health care plan to keep your cattle healthy and prevent diseases. This includes vaccinations, deworming, regular check-ups, and prompt treatment of any ailments.
  • Manage pasture and grazing: Allocate sufficient pasture for grazing and maintain its quality through rotational grazing, soil management, and weed control. This ensures optimal nutrition for your cattle and reduces feed costs.
  • Plan for seasonal variations: Consider how seasonal changes may impact your production plan. Take into account factors such as weather conditions, breeding seasons, and availability of forage.
  • Monitor and track performance: Regularly assess the growth, weight gain, and overall health of your cattle. Keep detailed records to identify any issues and make informed decisions to improve productivity.
  • Collaborate with experienced cattle farmers or industry experts to gain insights into best practices and potential challenges.
  • Stay updated on advances in cattle farming technology and research to optimize your production processes.
  • Consider implementing a biosecurity plan to prevent the introduction and spread of diseases within your herd.

By creating a production plan, you can ensure the efficient management of your beef cattle farm, maximize productivity, and maintain the health and well-being of your herd. Regularly review and adapt your production plan as needed to stay competitive and meet the demands of your target market.

In conclusion, developing a business plan for a beef cattle farm requires careful consideration of various factors such as market research, target audience, financial resources, and marketing strategies. By following the nine steps outlined in this checklist, farmers can create a comprehensive and detailed plan that sets them on the path to success.

  • Conduct thorough market research to understand consumer demand and competition in the beef industry.
  • Define your target audience to tailor your products and marketing efforts effectively.
  • Assess your financial resources to determine the feasibility of starting a beef cattle farm.
  • Develop a detailed business concept that outlines your products, pricing strategies, and unique selling points.
  • Identify potential risks and challenges that you may encounter and create contingency plans.
  • Determine the ideal location and land requirements for your beef cattle farm.
  • Calculate the start-up costs and ongoing expenses to create a realistic financial plan.
  • Evaluate various marketing and sales strategies to reach your target audience effectively.
  • Create a production plan that outlines breeding, feeding, and health management practices for your cattle.

By following these steps and continuously assessing and adapting your business plan, you can build a successful beef cattle farm that caters to the growing demand for high-quality, locally sourced meat. With a direct-to-consumer approach, you can establish strong relationships with customers and foster brand loyalty, ultimately ensuring the long-term success of your farm.

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Table of contents, a step-by-step guide to a successful beef cattle business plan.

  • 3 June, 2024

beef cattle business plan

Starting a Cattle Business

When venturing into the world of beef cattle farming , it’s essential to start with a solid business plan. A well-structured plan serves as a roadmap, outlining your goals and strategies for achieving them. It provides a snapshot of your current farm status and acts as a guide for future growth. Let’s explore the importance of a business plan and funding options for your cattle farm.

Importance of a Business Plan

A business plan for a cattle farm is crucial for understanding the industry, competition, and customers. It allows you to assess the viability of your venture and make informed decisions. By conducting thorough market research, you can identify your target market, understand their needs, and develop a marketing strategy to effectively reach them.

Additionally, a comprehensive business plan provides a clear overview of your farm’s financials, helping you forecast revenue, expenses, and potential profits. This financial analysis aids in determining the feasibility of your business and serves as a tool for attracting potential investors or securing loans.

To create an effective business plan, consider including the following components:

Executive Summary: A concise overview of your cattle farm, highlighting its objectives, target market, and competitive advantage.

Market Analysis: An assessment of the beef cattle industry, including trends, demand, and competition. This section should also outline your marketing strategy, as mentioned by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln .

Operational Plan: Details about the day-to-day operations of your cattle farm, such as herd management, feeding practices, and breeding strategies.

Financial Plan: A breakdown of your farm’s financial projections, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. This section provides insights into the financial stability and growth potential of your business.

Risk Management: Identification of potential risks and strategies to mitigate them. This can include insurance coverage, environmental farm planning, and contingency plans.

Funding Your Cattle Farm

Funding is a critical aspect of starting and growing a cattle farm. There are several options available to secure the necessary capital for your venture. Common funding sources include personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. However, when approaching banks or investors, having a professional business plan is essential to instill confidence in your farm’s operational capabilities ( Growthink ).

To determine the amount of funding you need, consider factors such as land acquisition, livestock purchase, equipment costs, and operational expenses. Conducting a thorough financial analysis as part of your business plan will help you estimate these financial requirements.

When seeking funding, it’s important to present your business plan to potential investors or lenders. Highlight the market opportunity, competitive advantage, and financial projections to demonstrate the potential return on investment. Additionally, be prepared to provide supporting documents and financial statements to substantiate your business’s financial viability.

Remember, funding options may vary based on your location and individual circumstances. It’s crucial to thoroughly research and explore the available options to find the best fit for your cattle farm.

By creating a comprehensive business plan and securing the necessary funding, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a successful beef cattle business. Remember to regularly review and update your plan as your farm grows and the industry evolves.

Marketing Strategies for Cattle Farms

When starting a beef cattle business, developing effective marketing strategies is essential for success. This involves creating a comprehensive marketing plan and ensuring financial planning aligns with business goals.

Developing a Marketing Plan

A well-designed marketing plan is crucial for cattle producers to meet their goals and maximize income opportunities. It serves as a roadmap, outlining strategies to reach target markets and achieve desired results. The plan should be flexible, easily updated, and answer key questions regarding what to sell, where to sell, when to price or sell, goals and objectives, and strategies to accomplish marketing goals.

To develop an effective marketing plan for your cattle farm, consider the following elements:

Product : Clearly define the products or services your cattle farm offers. This includes the type of beef, breeding stock, or other related products you provide.

Price : Determine appropriate pricing strategies based on market research and competitor analysis. Consider factors such as production costs, market demand, and the value your products provide to customers.

Place : Identify the most suitable channels for selling your cattle products. This may involve direct sales to consumers, selling to wholesalers or retailers, or participating in auctions or local markets.

Promotion : Develop promotional methods to attract customers and increase awareness of your cattle farm. Utilize advertising, social media, networking, and participation in industry events to effectively promote your products.

By incorporating these components into your marketing plan, you can create a solid foundation for successfully marketing your cattle farm.

Financial Planning for Success

In addition to developing a marketing plan, financial planning is crucial for the long-term success of your beef cattle business. A comprehensive financial plan helps ensure stability and growth by providing a snapshot of your farm’s current status and outlining growth plans for the next five years ( Growthink ).

When creating a financial plan for your cattle farm, consider the following key elements:

5-Year Financial Statement : Develop a detailed financial statement that covers a five-year period. Break down the statement monthly or quarterly for the first year, and then annually for the subsequent years. This statement should include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.

Income Statements : Track and project your farm’s revenue and expenses. This statement provides a clear picture of your income and costs, helping you make informed financial decisions.

Balance Sheets : Maintain a record of your farm’s assets, liabilities, and equity. This statement provides an overview of your farm’s financial position and helps assess its solvency and growth potential.

Cash Flow Statements : Monitor the inflow and outflow of cash in your cattle farm. This statement helps ensure you have sufficient funds to cover expenses, repay debts, and invest in future growth.

By establishing a solid financial foundation, you can make informed decisions, identify areas for improvement, and ensure the long-term profitability of your cattle farm.

By developing a comprehensive marketing plan and aligning financial planning with your business goals, you can set your beef cattle business on the path to success. These strategies will help you effectively market your products, reach your target audience, and ensure financial stability and growth.

Market Analysis for Beef Producers

Before diving into the intricacies of a beef cattle business plan, it’s essential for aspiring beef producers to conduct a thorough market analysis. This analysis helps in understanding the global economic impact and the challenges faced by the beef industry.

Global Economic Impact

The beef industry is influenced by global economic trends and dynamics. Export markets play a significant role in shaping the profitability and growth potential of beef producers. The value of U.S. beef in overseas markets continues to grow, making it vital for beef producers to navigate global economic volatility ( Beef Magazine ). Fluctuations in global demand, trade policies, and currency exchange rates can impact the prices and market opportunities for beef producers.

Understanding the global economic impact on the beef industry allows producers to make informed decisions about market expansion, international trade, and the long-term sustainability of their businesses. Staying updated on market trends and engaging in market research can help beef producers anticipate and adapt to changes in the global economy.

Challenges in the Beef Industry

The beef industry faces various challenges that beef producers must navigate to ensure profitability and sustainability. Some key challenges include:

Cattle Marketing : Cattle marketing remains a significant issue in the beef industry. Concerns about market competitiveness, price spreads, and concentration in the meat processing sector persist. Recent market shocks, such as constraints on packing capacity due to events like the COVID-19 pandemic, have reignited debates as cattle prices suffered while beef prices at the retail counter climbed. Understanding and effectively navigating the complexities of cattle marketing is crucial for beef producers.

Labor Shortage : Post-COVID-19 recovery has brought labor shortages across various sectors, including agriculture and the food industry. This shortage impacts the entire food and supply chain, including beef production. A lack of truckers, for example, affects transportation and logistics, putting pressure on policy development in the beef industry. Addressing workforce challenges and exploring innovative solutions to attract and retain skilled labor is essential for the success of beef cattle businesses.

Conservation and Environmental Regulations : The beef industry faces increasing scrutiny regarding conservation and environmental regulations. Balancing regulations and incentives, such as conservation incentive programs, remains a primary issue. Programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program aim to promote sustainable practices within the industry ( Farm Progress ). Beef producers must stay informed about evolving environmental regulations and adopt sustainable farming practices to minimize their environmental impact.

Trade, Technology, and Tax Policies : Trade relations, technology usage and regulation, and tax policies are significant factors affecting beef producers and industry stakeholders. Changes in trade policies can impact export markets and trade relationships, while technological advancements can offer opportunities for efficiency and productivity gains. Additionally, tax policies, including proposals related to estate tax and capital gains tax, can have implications for the financial aspects of beef cattle businesses ( Farm Progress ). Staying informed about trade policies, technology trends, and tax regulations is essential for beef producers to adapt and thrive in a dynamic industry.

By conducting a comprehensive market analysis and understanding the global economic impact and challenges faced by the beef industry, beef producers can make informed decisions and develop strategies to navigate the complexities of the market. This analysis forms a crucial foundation for a successful beef cattle business plan.

Financial Forecast for Cattle Farms

To ensure the long-term financial viability of a beef cattle business, it is essential to create a comprehensive financial forecast. This forecast provides a financial blueprint that guides the growth of the business and helps assess its profitability and cash flow. Two key components of the financial forecast for cattle farms are the key financial statements and the sales forecast and operating expenses.

Key Financial Statements

The financial plan for a cattle farm business should include a 5-year financial statement, broken down monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. This statement encompasses three key financial statements: the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. These statements provide a clear picture of the farm’s financial stability and growth potential. They are crucial for monitoring financial performance and making informed business decisions.

Financial Statement Purpose
Income Statement Presents the revenue, expenses, and net income or loss for a specific period. It helps evaluate the profitability of the cattle farm.
Balance Sheet Provides a snapshot of the farm’s financial position by showing its assets, liabilities, and equity at a specific point in time. It demonstrates the farm’s solvency and ability to meet its obligations.
Cash Flow Statement Tracks the flow of cash into and out of the business, including operating activities, investing activities, and financing activities. It highlights the farm’s ability to generate and manage cash effectively.

Sales Forecast and Operating Expenses

The sales forecast is a critical component when creating the financial forecast for a cattle farm. This forecast estimates two main drivers: the number of heads of cattle sold and the average price per head. It relies on historical data, market research, and other factors to project future sales.

Operating expenses for a cattle farm include items such as feed, veterinary care, breeding costs, labor, insurance, and more. These expenses vary based on anticipated revenue levels and the farm’s location. It is recommended to start the financial forecast with the sales projection to better estimate operating expenses.

By analyzing the sales forecast and operating expenses, cattle farm owners can gain insights into the expected revenue and costs associated with their business. This information is crucial for making informed decisions regarding pricing, resource allocation, and profitability. It also helps identify potential financial shortfalls and allows for adjustments to ensure the long-term success of the cattle farm.

In conclusion, the financial forecast for cattle farms is a vital tool for planning, monitoring, and managing the financial aspects of the business. By utilizing key financial statements and accurately projecting sales and operating expenses, cattle farm owners can make informed decisions to drive profitability and ensure the financial stability of their business.

Operational Strategies for Profitability

To ensure the profitability of a beef cattle business, it is essential to implement effective operational strategies. This section will explore two key aspects of operational strategies that can significantly impact the success of your venture: herd expansion considerations and reproductive success.

Herd Expansion Considerations

Herd expansion is an important decision for cattle producers looking to grow their business. However, it is crucial to carefully evaluate various factors before expanding the herd. According to Beef Magazine , herd expansion and pasture restocking have an impact on the market. Understanding market dynamics and the availability of resources like grazing land and feed is essential in making informed decisions.

When considering herd expansion, it is important to assess the carrying capacity of your land and the availability of adequate nutrition for the increased herd size. Conducting a thorough analysis of the costs and benefits associated with expanding the herd, such as the cost of acquiring additional cattle and the potential market demand, is crucial for long-term profitability.

Additionally, understanding the optimal time to sell and replace beef cows is key to maximizing profitability. Factors such as the age of the cows, pregnancy status, and gestation period play a significant role in making informed decisions regarding replacement females ( UT Beef and Forage Center ). Evaluating the net return of your operation and considering market conditions can help determine the most profitable approach.

Reproductive Success and Profitability

Reproductive success is a critical component of the profitability of a beef cattle operation. Improving reproductive benchmarks, such as weaning percentage and calving distribution, directly impacts the overall profitability of the herd ( UT Beef and Forage Center ). Maximizing the number of healthy calves born each year is essential for increasing revenue.

To enhance reproductive success, it is important to implement proper management practices such as timely vaccinations, effective parasite control, and optimal nutrition. Regular veterinary care and monitoring the reproductive health of the herd can significantly improve conception rates and reduce the likelihood of fertility issues.

Consideration of calving season length can also impact profitability. Research conducted in Tennessee by the UT Beef and Forage Center highlighted the relationship between calving season length, net returns, and weaning weights for both spring and fall-calving herds. This research provided valuable insights into optimizing calving dates to maximize profit and weaning weight for different herd types ( UT Beef and Forage Center ).

By prioritizing herd expansion considerations and focusing on reproductive success, beef cattle producers can enhance the profitability of their operations. Understanding market dynamics, evaluating costs and benefits, and implementing effective management practices can contribute to long-term success in the beef cattle business.

Risk Management in Cattle Farming

Managing risks is essential for the success and sustainability of a beef cattle business. Two important aspects of risk management in cattle farming are the Livestock Price Insurance Program and environmental farm planning.

Livestock Price Insurance Program

The Livestock Price Insurance Program (LPI) is a valuable risk management tool that provides beef producers with protection against price risk, currency risk, and basis risk. This program, offered in the form of an insurance policy, sets market-driven coverage levels to safeguard against market volatility and provide income security ( Saskatchewan Agriculture ).

By participating in the Livestock Price Insurance Program, cattle farmers can mitigate the financial impact of unexpected price fluctuations in the marketplace. This program allows producers to secure a floor price for their cattle, ensuring a minimum level of income even during times of market uncertainty. Additionally, LPI can be used to obtain a cash advance through the Advance Payments Program, providing additional financial flexibility to cattle farmers.

Environmental Farm Planning

Environmental farm planning plays a vital role in risk management for all agricultural operations, including beef cattle farming. In the context of cattle backgrounding operations, it is important to adhere to environmental regulations and guidelines to protect both surface and groundwater from contamination.

In many regions, including Saskatchewan, intensive livestock operations (ILOs) such as beef cattle backgrounding operations may require approval from the Agricultural Operations Unit of the local agriculture department. These operations must submit plans for manure storage, management, and mortality management to ensure the proper containment and disposal of waste materials. This prevents run-off from livestock facilities from contaminating water sources and helps maintain environmental sustainability ( Saskatchewan Agriculture ).

Environmental farm planning is essential for compliance with regulatory requirements and demonstrates a commitment to responsible stewardship of natural resources. By implementing proper waste management practices and maintaining good environmental practices, cattle farmers can minimize the risks associated with potential environmental issues and ensure the long-term viability of their operations.

By utilizing risk management strategies such as the Livestock Price Insurance Program and practicing sound environmental farm planning, beef cattle farmers can proactively mitigate risks and increase the likelihood of a successful and sustainable business. Prioritizing risk management ensures that potential challenges are addressed, allowing cattle farmers to focus on the growth and profitability of their operations.

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Livestock Farming Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

livestock farming business plan

Livestock Farming Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 500 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their livestock farming companies. We have the experience, resources, and knowledge to help you create a great business plan.

In this article, you will learn some background information on why business planning is important. Then, you will learn how to write a livestock farming business plan step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What is a Livestock Farm Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your livestock farming business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategies for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan for a Livestock Farm

If you’re looking to start a livestock farming business or grow your existing livestock farming company, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your livestock farming business to improve your chances of success. Your livestock farming business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Livestock Farming Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a livestock farming business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. When it comes to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan (hand it to them in person or email to them as a PDF file) and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to ensure that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for livestock farming companies.

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How to write a business plan for a livestock farming business.

If you want to start a livestock farming business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. The guide and sample below details the necessary information for how to write each essential component of your livestock farming business plan.

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your executive summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the kind of livestock farming business you are running and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a livestock farming business that you would like to grow, or are you operating several family-owned livestock farming businesses?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. 

  • Give a brief overv iew of the livestock farming industry. 
  • Discuss the type of livestock farming business you are operating. 
  • Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. 
  • Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy. Identify the key members of your team. 
  • Offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Overview

In your company overview, you will detail the type of livestock farming business you are operating.

For example, you m ight specialize in one of the following types of livestock farming businesses:

  • Cattle Ranching : In order to effectively raise cattle until market-ready, ranchers must have enough land for cattle to roam and eat grass. The rancher must also provide supplemental food, medicines and a number of procedures to ensure cattle sent to market are healthy and at an optimum weight.
  • Sheep Farming: Sheep farming is a process of maintaining order in the herd and corralling sheep when necessary. Farmers must feed and medicate sheep efficiently and they use sheep dogs to assist in many daily efforts. Sheep are prized for their wool and may be sent to slaughter as lambs if they are young. Sheep are often used on vacant fields to graze with an environmentally-friendly outcome. 
  • Chicken Farming: Chicken farmers need to provide water, food and medications to raise chickens until market-ready. Chickens may be free-range or kept in sheds during growth cycles. While hens produce eggs, roosters provide barnyard protection and enjoyment. 
  • Hog Farming: Hogs are notoriously expensive to raise, primarily due to food costs and medications; however, they demand high prices at sale and produce generous profits when sent to market. Hogs are grown in pens to control weight gain and are carefully assessed for market-readiness.

In addition to explaining the type of livestock farming business you will operate, the company overview needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to questions such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of cattle sold each season, the number of sheep successfully shorn each year, reaching X number of ranches owned, etc.
  • What is your legal business structure? Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry or market analysis, you need to provide an overview of the livestock farming industry. While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the livestock farming industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating. 

Secondly, market research can improve your marketing strategy, particularly if your analysis identifies market trends.

The third reason is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your livestock farming business plan:

  • How big is the livestock farming industry (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential target market for your livestock farming business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your livestock farming business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: corporate buyers, stockyard owners, and individual buyers.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of livestock farming business you operate. Clearly, individuals would respond to different marketing promotions than stockyard owners, for example.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, including a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the potential customers you seek to serve.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can recognize and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers. Ideally you can speak with a sample of your target customers before writing your plan to better understand their needs.

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are othe r livestock farming businesses. 

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t directly competing with your product or service. This includes specialty types of beef cattle, such as organic or grass-fed, imported lamb or beef, or eggs that are infused with additional supplements. You need to mention direct competition, as well.

For each direct competitor, provide an overview of their business and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What type of livestock farming business are they?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide lower rates for stockyards despite fluctuating higher market prices?
  • Will you offer beef cuts that your competition doesn’t?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a livestock farming business plan, your marketing strategy should include the following:

Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type o f livestock farming company that you documented in your company overview. Then, detail the specific products or services you will be offering. For example, will you provide uncured, smoked ham and bacon, pasteurized eggs, or free-range chicken? 

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of yo ur plan, yo u are presenting the livestock you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the site of your livestock farming company. Document where your company is situated and mention how the site will impact your success. For example, does your cattle ranch contain grassy acreage, allowing cattle to eat naturally? Is your chicken ranch situated in a weather-friendly environment? Does your hog farm contain heated and cooled hog pens for the well-being of the hogs?  

Promotions : The final part of your livestock farming marketing plan is where you will document how you will drive potential customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Advertise in local papers, radio stations and/or magazines
  • Reach out to regional stockyards 
  • Distribute farmer newsletters to stockyards
  • Engage in email marketing
  • Advertise on social media platforms
  • Improve the SEO (search engine optimization) on your website for targeted keywords

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your livestock farming business; including caring for livestock, securing and maintaining food supplies and medications, planning transport to market, invoicing customers and paying bills.  

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to ship-to-market, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your livestock farming business to a new ranch or farm.

Management Team

To demonstrate your livestock farming business’ potential to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company. 

Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing livestock farming businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing a livestock farming business or successfully running a livestock stockyard.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance s heet, and cash flow statements.

Income Statement

An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenue and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you ship 500,000 head of cattle this season, or will you expand your farm by several hundred acres? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets

Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your livestock farming business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a lender writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement

Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and ensure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. 

When creating your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a livestock farming business:

  • Cost of breeder chickens, lambs, farrow pigs or calves
  • Cost of farming equipment and vehicles
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Other start-up expenses (if you’re a new business) like legal expenses, permits, computer software, and equipment

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your ranch deed of ownership or a list of buyers you partner with in buying and selling operations.

Writing a business plan for your livestock farming business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will understand the livestock farming industry, your competition, and your customers. You will develop a marketing strategy and will understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful livestock farming business.

Livestock Farming Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my livestock farming business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily write your livestock farming business plan.

How Do You Start a Livestock Farming Business?

Starting a livestock farming business is easy with these 14 steps:

  • Choose the Name for Your Livestock Farming Business
  • Create Your Livestock Farming Business Plan
  • Choose the Legal Structure for Your Livestock Farming Business
  • Secure Startup Funding for Your Livestock Farming Business (If Needed)
  • Secure a Location for Your Business
  • Register Your Livestock Farming Business with the IRS
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get a Business Credit Card
  • Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
  • Get Business Insurance for Your Livestock Farming Business
  • Buy or Lease the Right Livestock Farming Business Equipment
  • Develop Your Livestock Farming Marketing Materials
  • Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Livestock Farming Business
  • Open for Business

Where Can I Download a Free Business Plan Template PDF?

Click here to download the pdf version of our basic business plan template.

Our free business plan template pdf allows you to see the key sections to complete in your plan and the key questions that each must answer. The business plan pdf will definitely get you started in the right direction.

We do offer a premium version of our business plan template. Click here to learn more about it. The premium version includes numerous features allowing you to quickly and easily create a professional business plan. Its most touted feature is its financial projections template which allows you to simply enter your estimated sales and growth rates, and it automatically calculates your complete five-year financial projections including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Here’s the link to our Ultimate Business Plan Template.

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business plan for beef production

How To Create The Perfect Cattle Business Plan For Beginners

Creating a well-thought-out cattle business plan can make all the difference between success for the beginner farmer who makes one, and failure for the one that fails to write it.

This guide will help you create the perfect plan when starting your farm, even with little to no money .

Table of Contents

Reasons To Have A Business Plan

Having a workable business plan is important for the following reasons:

  • It helps you raise capital from angel investors, relatives, friends, partners, and financial institutions like banks
  • It acts as a living guide for the starting, implementation, operation, and ending of your cattle farm
  • It helps keep all the involved persons in organic sync with the farm’s goals and objectives
  • It boosts your chances of success with efficient management and acts as the stepping stone for a systematic record-keeping culture
  • It helps you to theoretically analyze your business idea to measure its feasibility (practicality) and viability (success potential), and theoretically determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats ( SWOT analysis )
  • It helps you plan for growth and expansion along the same operational procedures or branching into directly and indirectly related lines of action, such as value addition to your products

How To Write The Perfect Cattle Farm Business Plan

Writing the perfect business plan for a cattle farm doesn’t have to be challenging, whether yours is set to be a small-scale farm or a complex one.

To write an operational business plan, you must include:

  • Organizational plan
  • Management plan
  • Financial plan
  • Operations plan
  • Marketing plan
  • Exit strategy

Let’s take a closer look at each of these aspects.

Organizational Plan

The organizational plan provides a detailed description of the business concerning the reason for its existence, goals, and objectives.

The mission and vision statements usually appear in the executive summary of formal business plans.

If yours is an internal-use-only plan, you could place the two items in the organizational plan or leave them out altogether. However, this second option runs the risk of losing sight of what your vision is for the farm.

The organizational plan basically answers the question, “What business am I in?”. You can answer this question by listing your intended products, services, location, market, and what makes your business unique.

You could raise animals for milk, value-added dairy products, beef production, and high-quality semen. You can also make money selling live animals as calves, lactating cows, pet cows , and bred heifers.

Cattle services aren’t so popular, but you could look into cow tourism/cattle farm agri-tours, cow cuddling/hugging therapy, and educating aspiring and practicing cattle entrepreneurs.

Your organizational plan should also list your short-term and long-term goals and objectives for the farm. These could be guided by your reasons for the establishment of the farm.

Management Plan

The management of most small farms is easy. The farm owner doubles up as the farm manager and field worker, eliminating the need for an elaborate management plan.

Sometimes, family farm owners may receive free or paid assistance from family members or friends, making it necessary to expand the plan.

The management plan must also be detailed if the farm will involve other key players such as investment partners and specialized workers like the driver, farm manager, accountant, sales and marketing officer, and lawyer.

Your plan should provide details such as:

  • All stakeholders enlisted by their experience in cattle farming or technical know-how of the business
  • Names of staff and partners, together with their respective positions
  • General responsibilities of each stakeholder
  • The hierarchy of command from the management team down to the lowest employee on the farm

Financial Plan

Your financial plan can make or break your business. It comprises four key aspects:

  • Your financial status and funds required: How much money do you have in savings or partner-raised capital? How much start-up capital do you need? And how much is required in operational expenses? Do you have an emergency or risk management fund? If you need outside money, what type of funding are you seeking? This could be credit card debt, grants, and loans from private lenders or commercial banks.
  • Use of funds: What will your capital be used for? Typical uses include working capital, licensing, salaries/wages, infrastructure, pasture establishment/development, and daily operational costs. Other uses include cattle purchasing , raw materials for feeds, land, farm machinery and equipment, and unforeseen expenditure.
  • Revenue model: How will your farm make money?
  • Financial statements: You can’t improve what you haven’t measured. There’s every need to prepare financial reports like balance sheets, profit and loss statements, income statements, tax statements, and break-even analysis . You’ll also need to consider monthly cash flow projections, payback period , and repayment of loans and investor money with interest.

Operations Plan

The operations plan details the technical aspects of your day-to-day cattle-keeping business. It’s a detailed overview of how your business will run and how products will be manufactured.

It includes aspects such as:

  • Feeding program: This details what you’ll feed your cattle to achieve the required nutritional levels and desired weights, production levels, and body condition. It shows the types of feeds and how they will be mixed and offered to cows.
  • Quality assurance for products or services
  • Health program: This details cattle treatment, vaccination procedures, disease prevention mechanisms, breeding protocols, vet and animal nutrition services, post-mortem procedures, and dead cow disposal measures.
  • Operational strategy: Will yours be a cow-calf operation, feedlot finishing operation, backgrounding, zero-grazing, or open-range ranching?

Marketing Plan

The marketing plan provides details such as:

  • Your target market
  • Customer knowledge based on customer analysis of demographics, likes, dislikes, estimated disposable incomes, expectations, consumption behavior for the products you produce, and their location.
  • Market analysis to learn cattle industry projections and prevailing market trends
  • Pricing strategy for your services or products based on prevailing market prices or private calculations informed by your cost of production
  • Competition analysis and how you’ll deal with business competition (both nearby farms and those out of state)
  • Marketing strategy, promotion, and distribution of products or services

Exit Strategy

The exit strategy is useful when you want to leave the business permanently or temporarily. It shows when, how, and why you might exit the business. The most common reasons are prohibitive feed costs and ever-increasing operating expenses.

The exit plan details options such as:

  • Selling your business to a larger farm (acquisition)
  • Selling parts of the business or all of it to other smallholders, for example, through an auction
  • Diluting or selling your ownership in a partnership farm
  • Succession with a continuity plan for handing over to the next generation if you become incapacitated or your corporeal existence comes to an end.

When To Amend Your Business Plan

You might need to review and amend your cattle farming business plan along the way for the following reasons:

  • Desire to change from one product line to another. You could shift from beef cattle like Hereford and Angus to dairy cattle like Friesians and Guernseys .
  • Realization of objectives. You might realize the objectives you set out to achieve, making it necessary to change tactics if there’s nothing more to achieve.
  • The departure of partners leading to a lower number of partners or a total shift to a sole proprietorship model
  • Addition of new partners
  • Substantive market changes or disruptions that warrant a change in standardized operation procedures
  • The need to retreat to regroup if things haven’t been going according to plan and you wish to overhaul the business
  • Changes in cattle, such as a shift from light-feeding cattle breeds to heavy feeders like Holsteins
  • Changes in cattle feed crops. You might want to shift from grass-based farming to rearing cows using field forage crops like corn for silage.

Alex grew up in a rural area with chickens, cows, goats, and rabbits. He has always enjoyed waking up at 6 am to tend to his flock and vegetable garden. He bought his first cow at 25 and named her "104". In 2021, he set up an aquarium and now spends his lazy time watching his fish. He is happiest watching small animals and plants grow big, not to mention writing to share his farm-life experiences.

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business plan for beef production - The World's Leading Business Plan Template Directory

Cattle Farming Business Plan Template [Updated 2024]


Cattle Farming Business Plan Template

If you want to start a Cattle Farming business or expand your current Cattle Farming business, you need a business plan.

The following Cattle Farming business plan template gives you the key elements to include in a winning business plan. The template can be used for a beef cattle business plan, a livestock business plan or any other cattle farming business plan.

You can download our Business Plan Template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.

Below are links to each of the key sections of a Cattle Farming business plan sample:

Cattle Farming Business Plan Home I. Executive Summary II. Company Overview III. Industry Analysis IV. Customer Analysis V. Competitive Analysis VI. Marketing Plan VII. Operations Plan VIII. Management Team IX. Financial Plan

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Production and Management

In the beef production industry, productivity and sustainability are among the main objectives of successful beef cattle management. Facilities, health, nutrition, breeds, reproduction, and marketing are some of the factors underlying profitable cattle-raising operations.

On this site, you will learn in detail all there is to know about managing a beef cattle herd.

Beef Production and Cattle Management

Keeping your herd healthy is especially important to any management operation. Key practices include maintaining adequate cattle nutrition , investing in vaccinations, and decreasing stress on the herd. To further improve herd profitability , it’s essential to make efficient use of on-farm resources, such as land, feed, and facilities.

If you’re new to the cattle-raising business or want to refresh your knowledge and skills, you may find Penn State Extension’s Beef Production and Management course helpful. The online course will discuss topics such as beef production basics, breed characteristics, animal health , beef cattle reproduction, product marketing, and financial planning.

Raising a Small-Scale Beef Cattle

Before starting a beef herd , you need to select the type of operations you’d like to run. The most popular options are cow-calf, backgrounding, and feedlots.

With a cow-calf operation , your herd serves the purpose of producing and weaning calves. Backgrounding cattle operations purchase the calves and raise them until they reach approximately 900 pounds. A feedlot will then buy the weaned/backgrounded calves and feed them to their final weight.

Beef Cattle Types

Choosing a beef cattle type is an essential part of setting up your operation. If you wish to run a cow-calf operation, you’ll also need to decide whether you want to raise purebred or commercial cattle.

Keep in mind that purebred animals must be registered with a beef cattle association and calves are often sold for breeding purposes . Commercial cattle don’t require registration, are primarily raised for meat and can be crossbred.

Some of the most popular breeds in the US include Black Angus, Hereford, Limousin, and Charolais. Once you’ve selected a breed, building a reproductive plan should be your next step.

Grain-Fed and Grass-Fed Beef Production

In the cattle-raising world, beef production is roughly separated into grass-fed and grain-fed programs . Before you get into the business, however, it might be worth familiarizing yourself with the terms grass-finished and grain-finished, as well.

Generally speaking, grass-fed beef is meat from cows raised on forages. Bear in mind that this may be different from grass-finished beef. With grass-finishing, cattle are fed grains during the backgrounding phase and forage during the finishing period.

In a grain-fed system, beef producers opt for feeds combined with grains. Cattle are fed grains from weaning to harvest, though they may also be fed pastures for up to six months before entering the feedlot phase.

Find the Right Beef Cattle Production Educational Resources

Overall, it’s important to remember that beef is a good source of high-quality protein, iron, zinc, and a number of important vitamins. Grass-fed beef contains slightly higher amounts of certain antioxidants; however, both grass- and grain-fed beef are highly concentrated sources of nutrients.

Starting a beef herd can be a challenging process if you’re new to raising cattle. Penn State Extension’s educational videos, articles, and courses are specially designed to help you build a solid foundation and gather the information you need for running a profitable beef cattle operation.

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  • Product Name
  • Date Posted

Image courtesy of Michelle Kunjappu, PA Beef Producers Working Group

Managing a Key Investment: the Beef Herd Sire

Implant being placed in the ear of a calf.

Implants Used in Beef Cattle are Safe and Efficacious

Healthy bull; Photo taken by Michelle Kunjappu

Beef Bulls After Breeding Season

Wintertime on a beef operation. Image courtesy of Nathan Briggs, Penn State

Winter Planning Recommendations

Photo taken by Taylor Zahn at a Indiana County farm

Observing Beef Cattle Pastures and Pens

Crossbreeding Dairy Cattle With Beef Semen

Crossbreeding Dairy Cattle With Beef Semen

Market ready feedlot cattle. Image courtesy of Tara Felix, Penn State

Contract Selling of Feedlot Cattle

Healthy steer eating TMR. Image courtesy of Nathan Briggs, Penn State

Considerations for Finishing Cattle for Beef

Frost seeding in Vermont. Credit: Dan Hudson, Univ. of Vermont

Pasture Improvements Can Take Place in the Winter

Survey of Pennsylvania Beef Producers

Survey of Pennsylvania Beef Producers

Raising Calf-Fed Holsteins

Raising Calf-Fed Holsteins

Inserting an implant in the ear of a Holstein steer. (Photo credit: PA Beef Producers Working Group via Michelle Kunnjapu)

Implant Approaches for Feeders

Grass-fed Beef Production

Grass-fed Beef Production

Cattle fed grain diets.

Grass Fed vs. Grain Fed Beef

Cattle Implanting Procedure and Education

Cattle Implanting Procedure and Education

Cattle with correct bunk spacing. Image courtesy of Pedro Carvalho, Penn State

Beef Cattle Spacing Requirements

Holsteins are fed grain-based diets to produce high quality  beef.

2019 Calf-fed Holstein Demonstration Results

Implants are crucial in Holstein steers raised for beef.

2018 Calf-fed Holstein Demonstration Results

Implants used in cattle increase feed efficiency. (Photo Credit: PA Beef Producers Working Group)

2017 Calf-fed Holstein Demonstration Results

Calculating the Cost of Beef Production

Calculating the Cost of Beef Production

Replacement Heifers: Management Options Benefit Bottom Line

Replacement Heifers: Management Options Benefit Bottom Line

Beef Cow-calf Operation

Beef Cow-calf Operation


RFID: How to Apply the Tag

Beef Feeding Operation

Beef Feeding Operation

Docile cattle are often more profitable cattle

Effects of Docility in Beef Cattle

You may also be interested in....

Beef calf

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Example Cattle Farm Plan: Part I: Summer Pasture Rotation


Pre-plan your pasture rotation by creating a series of detailed farm maps that explain every part of your cattle farming strategy. This map-making process is an essential part of developing a comprehensive farm business plan for your beef business. After all, your farm plan is the blueprint to your entire cattle business . 

The example farm business plan showcased below and on the next two pages of this article series shows how all the principles and practical 'how-to' information described in my book,  Grass-Fed Cattle: How to Produce and Market Natural Beef , can be boiled down to a very simple farm plan. This page - Part I  of the farm plan - focuses on the summer pasture rotation. Use it as a guide to help you plan your own cattle business in a consistent, logical, step-by-step process. The series of farm maps in this example farm plan will walk you through every step of a grass-fed beef business, from cow-calf to grass-finished. You'll also notice that the layout of the grazing rotation is so simple that it will continue to work equally well even if, at some point in the future, the farm in this example chooses to specialize in only one part of the beef production process, such as only cow/calf, only stockers, or only grass-finishing. Keep your farm plan and pasture rotation simple . By the time you are done designing your farm maps, you should be able to give your plan to anyone familiar with basic cattle farming principles and they should be able to successfully manage your farm without you having to give them another word of instruction.

The Example Farm

Just a little background to give context to the example farm plan featured below:

  • This farm plan is for a cow-calf to grass-finished beef operation with a brood herd of approximately 100 cow/calf pairs. Based on the quick-reference table on page 278 of my book,  Grass-Fed Cattle , if in the future this farm chooses to focus on only a single portion of the beef production process, this same land base would support approximately 175-200 cow/calf pairs as a stand-alone business, or 200-300 grass-finishing animals, or 300-400 stockers, depending on breed, length of time spent on the farm, slaughter age, and weight at the time of purchase and/or sale.
  • The growing season on this farm lasts from beginning of May through end of September. The winter pasture rotation is expected to continue through the entire winter (through the snow), with minimal to no stored feed required, but with a well-designed supplement program to support the winter pastures to ensure that nutrition keeps body condition scores within a safe range.
  • All cattle are combined as a single herd (cow/calf, stockers, grass-finishing animals), excluding the bulls outside of the breeding season. Two exceptions to this rule are during weaning (until the cows dry up) and during mid-winter to extend the grass-finishing season, but these exceptions are discussed further in the farm plan below.

Since this example farm plan is meant to help as a planning guide for your cattle farming business plan, I have purposefully excluded acreages, dimensions, and location to avoid confusion. Stocking rates vary considerably depending on climate, soil fertility, fertilizer use, irrigation, length of growing season, pasture yield, and so on. You will need to determine what stocking rate is appropriate for your business. But the basic ideas and principles at work in the pasture rotation will be the same, regardless of farm size.

You can learn more about how to organize your own farm plan using transparent map layers in your computer software drawing program here . The farm plan layers below follow the electric fence, cattle water, and pasture rotation planning process described in the Smart Electric Fence Grid article series.

Starting With the Farm Air Photo...

Example Farm Plan: air photo underlay

An air photo provides an excellent overview of the basic layout of the farm, but air photos are too 'busy' for planning all the details in your farm plan. Create a clean simple farm map for planning all the rest of the components of in your farm business plan. It is useful to airbrush out existing fence lines on a copy of your air photo so you can focus on designing the most efficient electric fence grid that makes sense for your topography and your grass fed beef production strategy. Click on the link for more tips on how to deal with existing cattle fences . The old fences on this air photo took less than 2 minute to airbrush away using the Healing Brush Tool or the Spot Healing Brush Tool in the computer software drawing program I recommend here . Keep the air photo as a base layer in your software program, which you can show or hide, as needed, underneath all the other visible layers in your farm plan simply by clicking the 'eye' symbol next to the layer.

The Simple Clean Farm Map

Example Farm Plan: base map

This layer shows all the important features on the farm - topography, water features, general soil types, timber, pasture land, ridges, gullies, and roads. Use this layer to plan all other aspects of your farm business plan, while hiding the busy air photo from view. If you plan on using a mobile cattle water system to supply livestock water to your pasture rotation, it's also useful to draw a basic cross-section of your farm.

Topographical Farm Cross-Section

Example Farm Plan: elevation cross-section

The example farm is composed of a series of flat benches with step banks descending towards the river at the bottom of the valley. This topographical cross-section naturally suggests how to set up water-lines for the mobile cattle water system and where to put drain plugs (the benches slope away from the river!) to help drain the system before winter.

Electric Fence Grid

Example Farm Plan: electric fence grid

Single-wire electric fences are shown in yellow and single-wire gates (with under-gate leadout wire connections ) are shown in red . The cattle water alley (also built using single-wire electric fences) is shown in brown . It allows cattle to be easily moved between any part of the pasture rotation and the corral (i.e. for treatment or on sale days. The permanent electric fence corridors are slightly narrower than a single spool of portable electric fence wire. The daily pasture rotation through these permanent electric fence corridors will be controlled by using temporary portable electric fences . All interior fences are built with swivel-lock electric fence insulators . Large-scale topographical features and different soil types have also been fenced separately for improved pasture management . Each electric fence corridor has its own individual cut-out switch where it branches off the perimeter fence to allow individual corridors to be turned on or off as needed for maintenance (or during the winter) without affecting the remainder of the electric fence grid.

Summer Cattle Water System for Mobile Water Tub

Example Farm Plan: summer water system

Blue lines show the polyethylene water line network overlaid on the electric fence grid. This network of polyethylene pipes (1-1/4 to 1-1/2" diameter) supplies cattle water to the mobile cattle water tub that accompanies the summer rotational grazing program. Water lines are pressurized from the well in the farm yard. Pressure losses or gains caused by gravity, friction inside the pipes, and pipe diameter have been calculated using the reference tables in the "Your Grazing Infrastructure" and "Livestock Water" chapters of my book,  Grass-Fed Cattle , which provide step-by-step calculations for designing your mobile cattle water system. The polyethylene water lines are laid above ground, directly underneath the electric fences to protect them from trampling. As an alternative to burying the polyethylene pipes where they cross alleys or gates, the water lines are protected via short sections of 2"-diameter steel pipe, through which the polyethylene pipes have been threaded. These pipe-protected crossings are then covered by sand or gravel, creating raised gravel humps similar to speed bumps in a school zone. This strategy avoids creating low spots in the polyethylene pipe which are difficult to drain in advance of the winter. The mobile water tub connects to the water lines via quick-connect couplers installed at intervals along the above-ground water lines.

Summer Pasture Rotation

Example Farm Plan: summer grazing plan

Green arrows show the summer pasture rotation through the prime grazing areas. The pasture rotation 'flow' is designed to create a simple, easy loop around the whole farm without creating any pasture moves that require long migrations. Daily moves are always to directly adjacent pastures using the front fence, back fence, next day's front fence cross-fencing strategy described in the portable electric fences article. The pasture rotation has been planned to avoid cattle having to cross over exposed water lines during pasture moves. Green arrows shown crossing permanent electric fences in areas of the diagram where there are no red gates are using swivel-lock electric fence insulators to create temporary gates for the pasture rotation . Highlighted areas ( grey and yellow ) are addressed separately in Part II and III of this article, under the headings: 'Sick Animal Treatment Protocol', 'Bull Grazing Areas', 'Annual Grass-Finishing Crop', 'Spring Thaw Pastures', and 'Cold Weather Grazing Reserves'.

Continue to:

Part II of the Example Cattle Farm Plan

to see how to set up and manage the winter pasture rotation.

- Farm maps of the grass-finishing, calving, and weaning strategies, as well as the sick animal treatment protocol, bull herd management, and drought/emergency plan. - a four-part article series on how to plan and build your electric fence infrastructure for your pasture rotation. - create effective psychological barriers in the minds of your cattle. - Handy tips on how to plan your grazing strategies and electric fence installation using map layers.

. Use the links below to explore my book and read reviews on :

  • Cattle Farming
  • Electric Fencing
  • Farm Plan: Summer Pasture Rotation

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The Alabama Cooperative Extension System operates as the primary outreach organization that ensures all people have access to information that improves their quality of life and economic well-being.

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Angus cattle in a pasture.

A systems approach to beef cattle production involves many working parts that influence the overall goal of the operation. Although you may think about repairing these parts one piece at a time, you must recognize that, in reality, they work together to drive the total production system. This publication addresses basic strategies for developing a beef cattle operation management plan.

What is the goal and long-term vision?

The quotation “Begin with the end in mind” has widespread application for a beef cattle operation. In order to determine what management decisions need to be made, it is important first to determine the goals of the operation. Remember, you have to know where you want to go before you can decide how to get there.

What resources are needed to achieve these goals? Can you feasibly attain them?

Evaluate your current farm resources and what improvements may need to be made to attain your production goals. Reflect on your goals and determine if it is economically feasible to move forward. Develop a time line for achieving these outcomes, and invest the effort in steps required to achieve them.

When developing a management plan, consider the following systems foundations and decision points.

Collecting soil samples

Collecting soil samples

Soils . A soil analysis provides valuable management information needed for every beef producer. Routinely soil testing pastures and hayfields will provide an estimate of available nutrients in the soil and fertility recommendations. A soil analysis service is available through the Soil, Forage, and Water Testing Laboratory at Auburn University.

Forages and Nutrition . Forages are the foundation for nutrition in the beef cattle herd. Forages are classified as a grass or legume, an annual or a perennial, or a warm-season or cool-season plant. Climatic conditions in Alabama allow us to grow forages for the majority of the year and economically meet the nutrient requirements of our herds. Select forages that are well adapted to the soil and environmental conditions in your area. Understanding forage adaptation, the level of management required, and if these species will meet the nutritional needs of your livestock are important factors when making a beef cattle management plan.

Appropriately selecting and managing forages for a given environment ensures that you will have more grazing days per year. Extending the grazing season is important when setting goals for a beef cattle operation because this represents the most economical source of nutrition for livestock. If excess forage is harvested and stored as hay, a forage analysis is needed to determine overall feed value and whether it will meet the nutritional needs of the herd. Consider supplemental feeding only if forage quality is low.

Herd Health . Establishing a local veterinarian-patient relationship is crucial in determining the correct health program for the herd. Depending on the class of animals in the operation (cow-calf, stockers, etc.), the types of vaccination and management programs may vary widely.

Record Keeping . Collecting, using, and maintaining good records are key components of any beef cattle management system. The level of record keeping practiced on the farm can help define the level of success achieved in the operation. Without adequate records, it will be difficult for you to determine if your goals can be achieved efficiently and productively.

Producers should tailor their record keeping systems to meet the specific needs of their operations. If you are not currently collecting records, start with basic information to quantify production efficiency and inventory numbers. Basic cattle production records should include animal identification information and cow and calf performance data.

Conduct an annual inventory of the number of cows, calves, bulls, and replacement heifers in the herd. Estimate cow age, and record the number of cows that wean a live calf. Minimum calf data includes ear tag number, date of birth, sex, color, birth weight, and weaning weight. From this information, you can calculate pregnancy rate, calving rate, and weaning rate in the herd.

Cow-calf pairs grazing annual ryegrass and crimson clover

Cow-calf pairs grazing annual ryegrass and crimson clover

Facilities Management . Well-designed working facilities enhance the flow of processing cattle in the operation. Evaluate the current infrastructure on the farm, and determine where improvements are needed. Understand that working facilities do not have to be elaborate, but they should be practical and safe for the animals and handlers.

Choice of fencing is also important in forage-based beef production systems. The cost and type of materials for fencing is often a site- and producer- specific decision. A storage shed or barn for equipment and hay may also be a worthwhile investment. A building protects expensive investments and increases years of usefulness in the operation. Incorporate this information into the annual systems plan where feasible. Some investments may take years to achieve, and their need should be evaluated annually.

General Production Practices . All cattle producers should incorporate into a systems management plan two basic herd management strategies-a defined calving season and castration. A controlled calving season optimizes the herd nutrition and health program, breeding season, time, and labor. Calving within a 60- to 90-day window is desirable for enhancing efficiency. Castrating calves at a young age (usually around the time newborn calves are tagged) is a desirable management practice. Steer calves are usually preferred over bull calves when sold at livestock markets, and they almost always bring a higher price.

Another general management practice to consider is implanting calves to improve the rate of gain and feed efficiency. Implanting is a low-cost practice that complements other management goals. Implants are small pellets that contain a slow-release growth stimulant that can be inserted with a specialized implant gun into the ear of growing calves. Steers and cull heifers, or animals that will be sold, finished, and processed for consumer markets, may be candidates for implanting. Implanting works best with animals with good genetic potential and a proper nutrition program that effectively promotes weight gain.

Choosing Cattle for Your Environment . The most important decision related to breed selection is choosing a cattle breed that is adapted to your production environment and management system. Traits related to growth, reproduction, maternal ability, and end product are all important for commercial cow-calf operations. Understand desirable traits of a given breed type, and compare these to your overall production goals. Based on this information, develop a planned crossbreeding program to help meet these needs. A plan helps a producer determine the steps and time line needed to combine the strengths of several breeds into a cross.

Putting It All Together . There are many management considerations in a beef operation. Being profitable in the cattle business requires a production plan and the desire to maximize the return on your investment of time and resources. Most important is to develop a list of realistic goals, items needed to achieve them, time frame, key personnel, and resources.

Figure 1. Systems management keys

Figure 1. Systems management keys

Goals. Management Planning. Resources

  • Herd Health
  • Breeding and Genetics
  • Record Keeping

Additional Resources

Contact your county Extension office with questions related to beef cattle management in Alabama. Use the following online resources for more information.

  • USDA Weekly Livestock Market Report
  • http:/ replacement-cattle-auctions#Alabama

Kim Mullenix , Extension Beef Cattle Systems Specialist , Auburn University

Reviewed May 2022, Systems Approach to Beef Production: Developing a Basic Management Plan , ANR-2284

  • Systems Approach to Beef Production Developing a Basic Management Plan

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Business Plans for Beef Cattle Backgrounding Enterprises

Backgrounding is a feeding program that targets weight gain in feeder cattle to develop the skeleton and muscle tissue of the animals while minimizing fat deposition.

Backgrounding diets typically include high levels of forages and often include limited amounts of cereal grains and various by-products of grain production. Cattle feeders normally purchase lightweight feeder cattle for backgrounding programs, and design feeding programs considering the timing of marketing finished cattle.

The Business Plan

A business plan is important to evaluate financial and production decisions related to the business. A business plan identifies requirements for financing capital items, such as feeding pens, handling facilities and feeding equipment, or sourcing operating credit or financing feeder cattle purchases. In addition, development of the business plan formalizes production practices, such as feeding and health management programs, and describes the marketing program for cattle at the completion of the backgrounding phase. Completing a business plan is similar to planning for a road trip: business plans help you identify where you are going, and, similar to a road map, assist you in reaching your final destination.

Similar to other agricultural endeavours, feeding cattle involves risk. While the price of feed and market price of feeder cattle are the two largest variables that can affect profitability of cattle feeding enterprises, factors such as experience of the cattle feeder, size of operation, animal performance and health status of calves contribute to the success of the enterprise. To reduce risk, some backgrounders choose not to own their feeder cattle, but custom-feed cattle for other producers or cattle investors. A business plan identifies risk factors for each operation, and allows producers to evaluate alternatives to 100-per-cent ownership of feeder cattle and manage their risk accordingly. Risk management strategies form a critical component of the business plan, and will be reviewed by lenders and other stakeholders when assessing the financial viability of backgrounding cattle.

A business plan helps you to:

  • Analyze the enterprise on paper and identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT);
  • Make the transition from idea to implementation of the business enterprise;
  • Provide lenders, cattle investors and other stakeholders with a clear understanding of your business and the requirement for external sources of capital or operating credit;
  • Standardize operating procedures and identify marketing strategies for backgrounded feeder cattle;
  • Establish performance and financial benchmarks and analyze year-to-year variance; and
  • Manage your business more effectively.

Developing your Business Plan

A typed, professional appearance enhances business plans, especially if it will be presented to others. If this is not possible, a neat, handwritten business plan is still better than nothing at all. Elements of a business plan include:

  • Title Page: Includes the business or farm name and contact information for the principal individual(s) responsible for the enterprise. Include the date the plan was created or the period of time that the business plan covers.
  • Executive Summary: The executive summary is one of the most important components of a business plan. As the executive summary is the first and sometimes only part of the business plan that is read, it needs to be a concise summary of the business proposal that identifies the purpose or objective of the operation, outlines capital and credit requirements and indicates how funds will be used. It should be written last so that it summarizes the entire business plan and provides the readers with answers to the following questions:
  • What is the purpose of this business plan (operational guide, financing proposal or both)?
  • What is the nature of the business?
  • What is the business structure (sole proprietor, corporation, partnership)?
  • What is being produced or what services are being provided?
  • Where will the product and/or services be marketed?
  • What knowledge, skills and abilities do you have regarding feeding and care of cattle?
  • Table of Contents: A single page listing topics and corresponding page numbers.
  • Mission, Vision, Values and Goals Statements: These statements are typically one paragraph in length, and clearly state the objective of the enterprise, the short- and long-term goals of the producer and the values important to the individual. Animal welfare, environmentally sustainable production or verified beef production practices are examples of values producers may choose to incorporate in these statements.
  • Industry Overview: The industry overview should be written to provide a reader who may have limited knowledge of the subject with a brief description of the cattle feeding industry. A simple diagram illustrating the structure of the cattle industry is often useful to include in this section to visually represent where backgrounding fits within the beef cattle supply chain. Current statistics should be included, and be sure to reference sources of information. Relevant information may include, but should not be limited to: beef cow numbers, number of feeder cattle by weight class, feed grain and forage production and number of cattle feeders. Industry trends and opportunities can be identified in this section. Once the reader has reviewed this section of your business plan, specific information related to your project can be put into the perspective of the larger industry.
  • Business Description: This section includes information specific to your enterprise. Type of business, structure of business, relation to other enterprises, and size and scale of the operation, including land resources, should be identified.

Ownership of feeder cattle or custom feeding arrangements should be clearly identified in this section, as the content of subsequent elements of your business plan will be affected by this major decision. Custom feeding arrangements will be formalized, with a written contract outlining the responsibilities of both the cattle feeder and investor. Payment for services (cost per gain, yardage plus feed costs or cost per day), expectations of animal performance, health status of calves at time of placement, minimum number of days on feed, death losses and animal warranties should be clearly identified and drafted in the agreement. A copy of the contract should be included as an appendix to the business plan.

  • Human Resource Management: This area describes your business and management experience in feeding and caring for cattle. It is important to identify if you will be paying yourself for the labour and management of the enterprise, or if the profit (loss) of the business will determine the return on your labour and investment.

If additional non-family labour is required for the backgrounding cattle enterprise, a description of employment variables, such as salary, benefits and provision for training, should be included. Development activities designed to improve management expertise should be included in this section.

A contingency plan should be identified in this section that details how the enterprise will be managed and day-to-day operations will proceed in the event of illness, injury or death.

  • Operational Plan: This section outlines the production processes, sets performance targets and establishes costs that will be included in cash flow projections. Backgrounding cattle enterprises should include the following sections within the operational section of the business plan:

Feeding Program

Excluding the purchase of the feeder calf, the cost of feed represents the single largest variable in feeding cattle. Backgrounding diets are typically higher in forages to minimize fat deposition and promote frame and muscle growth. Purchasing or contracting some or all of the forage, grain and supplements prior to placing cattle in the feedlot can reduce the risk of significant price increases during the feeding period. It is recommended that nutritional advice be sought in the development of feeding programs and monitoring of animal performance. A feeding protocol can be developed as part of the operational plan to ensure consistency of feeding regardless of who is responsible for daily feeding.

Herd Health Program

With the assistance of a veterinarian experienced in feeder cattle production, a herd health program should be designed and implemented for all backgrounding enterprises. Treatment and vaccination protocols, implant strategies and post-mortem procedures can be developed and documented in the herd health section of the business plan. These protocols can form the basis for a sound record-keeping system as part of a quality assurance program. Annual review of each program within the operational plan allows for ongoing adjustment and fine-tuning of important production practices.

  • Marketing Plan:

Cattle feeders who own their cattle inventory assume a higher risk than feeders who are custom-feeding cattle for other investors. While the potential for profit is greater, so is the potential for loss, and the business plan should reflect the reality of the cattle feeding business. Owning the inventory of cattle requires the development of a marketing plan within the business plan. Consider the following when developing your marketing plan:  

Identify the target weight for marketing feeder cattle. Lighter feeders can be placed on pasture prior to finishing in feedlots, or heavier animals can be marketed directly to feedlots.

Identify the time of year for targeted marketing. Normally, grass cattle are in greater demand during the early spring, and heavy feeders are generally marketed to feedlots during late summer.

Identify where off-type animals will be marketed.

Price Discovery

Backgrounded cattle can be sold via auction (regular, presort, satellite or electronic) or be forward-contracted to finishing cattle feedlot operators. Sale conditions, including weighing considerations, marketing commissions, shrinkage and delivery times, should be clearly identified for all marketing alternatives. It is important to recognize that prices for cattle (finished and feeder) are established at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar relative to the United States currency represent significant price risk to the Canadian cattle feeder. Risk management plans should identify foreign exchange exposure and strategies to minimize negative effects. Development of marketing plans as part of the business plan allows producers to consider all of the factors that may affect market price for cattle at the end of the backgrounding period. Given the complexity of cattle marketing, producers are strongly encouraged to seek advice and marketing assistance prior to placing cattle on feed in a backgrounding program.

The Livestock Price Insurance Program (LPI) is an easy to use risk management tool that provides beef producers with protection against price risk, currency risk and basis risk. The program uses current and historical market information to set and offer market driven coverage in the form of an insurance policy. LPI protects against volatility in the marketplace and can be used to set a "floor" price on livestock, allowing for the security of knowing what your bottom line income will be. LPI can also be used to obtain a cash advance through the Advance Payments Program.

  • Environmental Plan:

Environmental farm planning is an important component of risk management for any agricultural operation. Beef cattle backgrounding operations may require approval from Saskatchewan Agriculture's Agricultural Operations Unit prior to the construction of an intensive livestock operation (ILO). The Agricultural Operations Act requires ILO proponents to submit plans for manure storage, manure management and mortality management. The intent of this legislation is to ensure provisions have been made to protect surface and groundwater from contamination by run-off from livestock facilities. It is also important to discuss development of any ILO with your neighbours and your local municipality to address any concerns or identify any development bylaws that may be relevant to your enterprise. Saskatchewan Watershed Authority should be contacted regarding licensing requirements related to the provision of water for the cattle operation.

  • Financial Plan:

The financial plan is an important component of your business plan, and usually includes present financial documents as well as pro forma financial statements that identify the financial changes that will occur to the enterprise over a period of time. Requirements for debt financing and repayment schedules should be included in the financial plan. It is important to identify any assumptions that are being made that may affect the accuracy of the financial statements. Examples of documents included in the financial section of the business plan are:

  • Breakeven analysis of backgrounding cattle;
  • Current income statement and projected income statements for an identified period of time;
  • Monthly cash flow projections for the current and subsequent fiscal years;
  • Loan amortization tables; and
  • A current balance sheet and projected balance sheets for an identified period of time.
  • Supporting Professionals:

Identify supporting professionals that provide services or advice for your operation in this section of your business plan. These can include business partners, such as accountants, lawyers or financial service providers, as well as veterinarians, nutritionists, consultants and marketing partners.

  • Supporting Documents:

A personal resumé identifying your education, prior work experience and management and feeding experience related to beef cattle production should be included in this section. If other individuals will be involved in the management of the backgrounding enterprise, include their personal resumés as well.

For custom backgrounding operators, letters of intent from prospective cattle suppliers or investors should be included. If you have previously fed cattle for someone else, include letters of reference.

A business plan is an important document that allows you to evaluate your enterprise on paper. This document serves as a basis for obtaining financing and procuring cattle supplies. Operational plans are developed and performance benchmarks established in your business plan. Once completed and updated annually, your business plan will provide you with an overview of past performance and a plan for future years.

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Cecil Togarepi , Margareta Kankono

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A. van der Zijpp , T. Samdup


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Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2024

– Barry Ward, Eric Richer, John Barker and Amanda Bennett, OSU Extension

business plan for beef production

Download the 2024 Farm Custom Rate survey results

Farming is a complex business and many Ohio farmers utilize outside assistance for specific farm-related work. This option is appealing for tasks requiring specialized equipment or technical expertise. Often, having someone else with specialized tools perform tasks is more cost effective and saves time. Farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply, “custom work”. A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider.

Custom rates increased for the majority of field operations in 2024 as compared to surveyed rates in 2022 but the increases did vary by operation. Examples include an increase of 6% for Planting Corn (30 Inch Rows with Fertilizer Application), 5.6% for Harvesting Corn (Combine, Grain Cart, Haul Local to Farm), 21% for Spraying (Self-Propelled Sprayer, Crop Protection Chemicals) and 24% for Field Cultivator.

New field operations in this year’s survey and summary include drone/UAV application and cover crop seeding.

Ohio Farm Custom Rates

The “Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2024” publication reports custom rates based on a statewide survey of 333 farmers, custom operators, farm managers, and landowners conducted in 2024. These rates, except where noted, include . . .

Continue reading and and find download of Ohio Farm Custom Rates 2024

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