A new report from South Dakota State University and Texas A&M University’s King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management offers planning tools for producers working to adapt to the volatility and uncertainty in today’s markets. The report, titled “Strategic and scenario planning in ranching: Managing risk in dynamic times,” is available online.

Strategic planning, the report notes, is a process for determining the strategies and tactics that will help a business achieve a given vision.

Scenario planning is the process of creating likely scenarios that a business may face based on demographic, social, political and business trends.

Both processes are components of a strategic plan, which ultimately is a set of decisions about what, why and how to do something, all with a focus on the future. The document guides the reader through the following stages and steps toward developing and implementing a strategic plan for a ranching business.

Stage 1: Charting the Course: Creating the Vision

  • Assess current situation and inventory of ranch resources
  • Conduct SWOT analysis
  • Establish a vision for the ranch

Stage 2: Determining Strategies to Achieve the Ranch’s Vision Incorporate “gap” analysis

  • Identify alternative strategies to close the gap

Stage 3: Scenario Planning For the Ranch

  • Describe multiple scenarios
    Select and evaluate most probable scenarios

Stage 4: Merging Strategies and Scenario Planning

  • Choose strategies with highest likelihood of success

Stage 5: Putting the Plan into Action and Measuring Success

  • Implementation of the strategic plan
  • Monitor performance with the Balanced Scorecard.

View full report (PDF format)