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Ryan D. Rhoades, Kimberly C. McCuistion, and Clay P. Mathis, Rangelands 36(6):2–6 DOI: 10.2111/RANGELANDS-D-14-00017 © 2014 The Society for Range Management

On the Ground

  • Drought is an adaptive challenge where management strategies and practices that work today might not work tomorrow. Adaptive challenges facing management may require thinking systemically to determine leverage points.
  • Systems thinking can be an effective way to see the big picture, deal with complex situations, and create effective long-term management alternatives for the ranch.
  • Successful management alternatives will provide flexibility to protect the core business (i.e., cow herd), be enterprise-diverse to spread risk, and allow management for the good of the whole, not simplyto maximize the pieces.
  • It is important to evaluate your own ranching system to identify the appropriate enterprises or practices, there is no best mix. Keywords: systems thinking, drought, ranch flexibility, management alternatives.