Ranch Advisory Partners is a group of committed resource managers who work to improve the ecological and financial performance of ecological resources. We are ecological entrepreneurs dedicated to cultivating thriving rangelands, pastures, wildlife habitat, and riparian condition. We achieve this vision while engaging our clients in a process designed to improve the financial performance of their enterprises and enhance the lives of those responsible for management of natural resource-dependent businesses.
Ranch Advisory Partners works with clients in three core service areas: project planning/design, implementation, and tracking/monitoring. We help a variety of clients design agricultural operations and wildlife habitat improvement projects that blend the values of ecological well being, financial performance, and community dynamics. We assist our clients in the implementation of the projects to ensure the desired outcomes are met, both ecological and financial. Then, we help track improvements through ongoing monitoring and generation of “ecological statements” that are akin to commonly-used financial statements. As ecological performance improves, financial performance improves.
We are based in Montana’s Gallatin Valley, but our associates are located throughout the Rocky Mountain states. Our team is skilled in a host of natural resource management disciplines, and we utilize their talents on projects and programmatic endeavors as needed. We currently service around 70 clients in seven western states on roughly 4,000,000 acres.
Our 2015 Initiatives include the following:
1. Construction of a web-based tool for determining the most efficient means of conducting vegetative treatments designed to improve wildlife habitat. This project will utilize state and transition models to convey information as clearly and concisely as possible.
2. Help tribes expand their buffalo herds by identifying carrying capacity, exploring management scenarios, and creating financial plans that support those herds.
3. Utilize newly-released Grazekeeper software to help clients account for grazing management practices on large, complex ranching operations.
As an example, we began working with a southwestern Montana ranch whose livestock management strategy had gone unchanged for decades, and the desired ecological and financial outcomes had not been achieved. We worked with them to alter their fundamental grazing strategy, an action that corrected a fundamental grazing distribution issue, and made many more acres of land grazeable. We then helped them align their calving date with forage resources to reduce hay feeding.
Ecologically, the benefits have included improved riparian condition, less bank sloughing (see photos below), improved rangeland health, and improved wildlife habitat.
Financially, their calf weaning weights increased, reproductive rate increased, herd health improved, and operating costs per cow declined.