Daily life is busy on the farm and ranch and it seems as if once calving season is done, there is barely time to rest before fields must be planted or hay made. No matter the season, there is usually 2 to 3 different enterprises needing attention and multiple decisions to be made. With so many tasks on the to-do list, staying organized can be difficult. Now available is a tool called Management Minder to assist cow/calf producers in keeping track of yearly production tasks on the farm and ranch.
Management Minder Calendar Program
The Management Minder is a free web-based calendar program that was designed by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Iowa Beef Center and K-State Research and Extension. In the program timely reminders and deadlines can be designed specific to each daily activity on the operation or default calendars can be created based off of suggested dates and default intervals. Annual categories that are available with default calendars include breeding/calving plans, grazing turnout, receiving cattle schedule, weaning schedule and a general activity calendar timely to each season.
Producers can begin by selecting the category desired and associated date, activity to be scheduled, date activity should begin and individual notes about the task can be entered here also. Once the criteria is selected for that category, hit save and a new entry can be started. Subcategories that activities can be schedule for include: health, reproduction, nutrition, pasture, marketing and management.
Using Your Calendar
Once a calendar is complete, producers can send the calendar to print, save on a mobile device or upload to an Outlook, Google or Yahoo calendar. Also, once a ranch/farm is registered, permission can be granted to multiple users to add items to the calendar as well. In addition, calendars can be rolled over from year to year, saving time on set up for next year if daily tasks remain similar. Login information is required for use of this program, and will save inputs from year to year.
The timing of many management tasks on the cow/calf operation can be critical to the success of activity. For example, getting timely vaccinations into cows/calves can affect the type and price of vaccinations that can be used. In addition, remembering which day the bull was turned out and getting a reminder to remove the bull from pasture and schedule pregnancy check 30 days later, can be valuable down the road when looking towards scheduling labor for calving season. Moreover, if there is ever extra time in the day, having a calendar handy with tasks listed to be done in 1 week, 1 month or 6 months from now, can be valuable for everyone’s time and increase efficiency on the operation. In most operations, time is money so the more organization we can have on the ranch, the better our beef business can be.
For assistance in planning yearly activities on the cow/calf operation contact an SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.
Resource: Management Minder User Guide