Using the Balanced Scorecard for Ranch Planning and Management: Setting Strategy and Measuring Performance. J. Davis, A. Arzeno, R. Gates, B.H. Dunn, South Dakota State University and King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management-Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Daily routine, difficulty in obtaining profits and a natural inclination among ranchers and farmers to look at a “production” or short-term perspective rather than a strategic, holistic, “big picture” business approach, generally results in the planning for only one or two dimensions instead of looking at a whole system. In addition, those parts must be in some sort of balance for the business not to focus only on one particular dimension. The Balanced Scorecard is a unique approach because it provides feedback on both internal and external outcomes. Many farmers and ranchers develop different time-related goals for their operations. Business and family goals may often be in conflict and difficult to differentiate. The Balanced Scorecard examines the degree of balance among those goals and their vision for their operation with different business related perspectives such as: Finance, Customers, Lifestyle, Natural Resources, Ag Commodities/Production, and Learning and Growth. By developing a set of strategic measures for each perspective, both leading (future performance) and lagging (past performance), farmers and ranchers would be able to evaluate performance and determine if goals are being met and progress toward reaching the business’ vision is being made. The Balanced Scorecard is a strategic business management concept that will help ranchers and farmers to understand that successful businesses are a result of the balanced combination of all aspects surrounding the business as opposed to a narrower view which considers planning around production, weather and commodity prices.
Key words: balance, management, performance, strategic planning