Winter ranch management brings a sense of calm to an otherwise hectic program. As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, ranches seem to hibernate. You’ll find yourself spending less time outdoors and more time snuggled up by the crackling fire with family.
Winter Management Tips
There are a few things you’ll want to know about winter at a ranch. These winter ranch management tips remind you to keep an eye out on your property throughout the winter. Here are a few things to remember this snowy season.
1. Fuel and Power Up
The key to a successful winter at your ranch is to stock up on supplies. Ideally, you’ll do this in late fall as a part of your fall ranch management plan. The more isolated your property, the extra precautions you want to take.
A power outage can turn ugly if you don’t have backup power sources. Keep an eye on feedstocks and ensure that your storage system remains dry. Keep spare parts for waterers and other necessary items. Lastly, don’t forget to keep plenty of excess gasoline, propane, and diesel.
2. Watch Your Inventory
In the fall, you’ll plan the stock you need to thrive during the winter. Winter ranch management is all about managing that inventory appropriately. Of course, you need to account for unforeseen circumstances. Don’t go without simply because something breaks. Instead, plan ahead or restock throughout winter if something gets missed.
3. Keep an Eye on the Weather
Winter storms ripping across the plains can spell disaster. But, they are a part of ranch life. Keep an eye on the weather so you’re not caught off-guard. For brutal weather systems, button down the hatches and have a plan for your livestock (and household) days before. After a storm check all vital systems such as your barn, feed storage, and waterers.
4. Stock Up on Household Items
Winter in rural areas means shopping trips are less frequent. Stock up on supplies you’ll need for your household. Make a list of non-perishable goods that you’ll need throughout winter.
Keep an emergency kit that will prepare you to be without power for days. If you already have one, don’t forget to run through it and check expiration dates, ensure lanterns and flashlights work, and batteries haven’t leaked.
No one wants to get caught in a winter storm, but it can happen at a ranch. Better to be prepared than sorry.
5. Enjoy Some Down Time
Take the snowy season to relax. Winter often means there is less responsibility at a ranch. Instead of focusing on your normal daily ranch routine, take some time to connect with family. Indulge in winter ranch activities such as sledding and hunting. Spend time making memories with your family.
6. Engage with Your Community
Don’t forget to reach out to your neighbors. The winter is a beautiful time, but it’s also a time where ranchers go from spending time outdoors to indoors. Make plans with your neighbor, visit your nearest community center, and stay involved socially over winter. You’ll not only have some friends to share in the holiday cheer, but you’ll also get out of your home for a change of scenery.
Overall winter ranch management is a lot more about keeping an eye on things than it is about active engagement. Winter is a time for rest at ranch. So take advantage of all of your hard work and kick back with your family.