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How to Ensure that You’ll Go Broke Farming and Ranching

(While Simultaneously Preventing the Next Generation from Desiring to Come Back) 

in 20 Easy Steps: 


  1. Do not pay yourself a wage.  Isn’t everyone willing to work THIS HARD for free?

  2. Complain. Double down by commiserating with others. Vent if you have to. 

  3. Do not, under any circumstance, seek solutions for the things about which you complain.

  4. Keep doing the things that aren’t working the way that you’ve always done them, because that’s the way you’ve always done them.  It just makes sense. 

  5. Put people on your team in the wrong roles, have missing roles, and by all means, micromanage.

  6. Rob the soil of nutrients, year, after year, after year.  

  7. To ensure erosion, keep your soils bare. Who needs protective armor anyway?

  8. Believe soil health, water cycles, and mineral cycles cannot be improved with management. 

  9. Work for your livestock without allowing your livestock to work for you.

  10. Disregard the free labor that microbes in the soil provide you; instead send them packing, literally, to greener pastures.

  11. Drive up your fuel bill every chance you get.

  12. Ignore your family’s request for a vacation.  Holiday or not, you don’t have time for that. 

  13. Don’t make time for meals either.

  14. Allow Haying Season to rule your life, but do not, I repeat, DO NOT run the numbers to check whether or not it’s your most cost effective option. 

  15. Do not identify your quality of life goals.  But if you do, do not communicate them or anything else clearly with your spouse or family members. 

  16. Believe that working hard and doing more will automatically meet your quality of life goals (that you didn’t identify in the first place).

  17. Make assumptions about what your family and team thinks and feels, but certainly do not ask them out loud–what they actually think or feel.  Being heard and understood isn’t that important.

  18. Keep telling yourself, “It’ll get better when…” without making any effort to improve your habits.

  19. At the end of the year, break even.  Better yet–lose money.  How else will you compete with your neighbors in the game of Who-has-it-Worse?

  20. And finally, if your family goes off and takes that vacation without you, it just means you have more time to do more, while making less. You’d probably rather be planting or haying anyway. 


Following these guidelines to the T  will most certainly guarantee your Gone-Broke status

while simultaneously preventing the next generation from having any desire to come back.

 We know, because at times, we’ve been there.


If you are the type of person who is unwilling to forgo a fair wage for yourself, 

If you are tired of steeping in stress or marinating in misery,

If you’ve ever spent nights in the barn pulling calves in February or fought to keep your eyes open behind the wheel of a combine…when you could have been cozy in your bed, 

If deep down you know that breaking even isn’t good enough, even if you farm or ranch “for the lifestyle and not the money,”

If you’ve ever wanted to leave that off-farm job, but think you can’t because you need those benefits, 

If you’ve ever regretted not taking that memory-making vacation,

 or have remorse over missing that holiday with Grandma,


Consider an alternative “How to” Guide:


How to Ensure that You Meet Your Own Quality of Life Standards

that YOU Set for YOURSELF for-

the Productivity of your Land, 

          the Richness of your Relationships, 

       and the Wealth you Need to Thrive

(with a Side Benefit of the Next Generation Eager to Come Back to the Farm or Ranch),

Sign up now for our exclusive REGENERATE RETREAT: February 5-7, 2023 at Black Leg Ranch near McKenzie, ND.


By participating in a RENERATE School or Retreat–

Any farmer or rancher can build a successful and profitable operation while simultaneously improving their quality of life, relationships, and the productivity of their land



REGENERATE will show you HOW TO: 

  • Ask the right questions instead of the wrong ones;

  • Strengthen your solutions-seeking mindset; 

  • Put people in the right roles to maximize your effectiveness as a team;

  • Hire the right person to fill in a gap (because every operation has gaps and it’s costing you);

  • Establish your team’s collective desired quality of life and put it into writing;

  • Lead your team instead of wasting your time managing it;

  • Plan for profit instead of leaving it up to chance;

  • Work with nature instead of against it;

  • Create an itemized and prioritized action-step plan so you walk away from the retreat feeling focused, at peace, and “on the same page” as your teammates–because actually,  being heard and understood IS that important. Especially in farming and ranching where your business is not just your job, it’s your whole life.


Oh, and by the way, we’ll achieve this together in 2.5 days while enjoying delicious food (all your meals and refreshments are provided) at the beautiful and historic Black Leg Ranch: Copper Jewel Barn & Brewery.

Reserve your seat now to participate in great conversations and interactive discussions, activities, exercises, and demonstrations.


To sweeten the deal, (limited) on-site lodging will be provided for you–at no additional cost, on a first-come basis until rooms* are filled.  


Waited too long &  no more room at the Inn?  

No worries, you can still join us for the entire Retreat; you’ll just need to arrange and pay for your own lodging.  (We suggest securing a hotel room in Bismarck, which is twenty-five miles from the REGENERATE Retreat location.)

It’s decision time. Which “How To” do you prefer?  


The one where, by default, you hinder your quality of life and profitability? 


Or the one where you escape the February cold and take 2.5 days to unplug from your operation.

The one where you enjoy good food and conversations.

The one where you learn how to strategically work ON your business instead of just in it. 

The one where you leave with a plan in hand. 


Register yourself, your spouse, family or team.  

Starion Bank is sponsoring this REGENERATE RETREAT as part of their Legacy Ag program to ensure producers like you save at least 75% off  registration costs. 

This offer is open to all and is not limited to Starion clients. 

Remember, on-site lodging is provided at no additional charge to you while available: 

* Choose private, semi-private, or bunk-style lodging on a first-come-first-reserve basis. 

We will see you there! 



REGEN with text 1
FINAL REGENERATE Workbook Interior Pages
Starion Logo
Joshua JRS 2
Black Leg Ranch
Grand Lodge main hall fireplace

Still on the Fence?
See What Former Participants have to Say:

"Very good school – a must for all ranchers to attend. It will provide a good foundational approach to improve our ranch." 

-Chip Fischer, Rhame, ND

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