Wray Cattle Company
Rex and Jody Buck both grew up in ranching families, and dreamt of bringing up their children in the industry that raised them. In 1990, the then-young couple started the Wray Ranch company in Yuma County, Colorado. Today, the Buck family runs close to 1000 head of cattle on 10,000 acres along the Colorado-Nebraska line.
“Our vision has not changed in the last 30 years,” Rex says of the operation. “We want to be economically viable and biologically sustainable.” Jody echoes that sentiment. “It’s my dream to have this ranch be sustainable so that we can pass on the land and the values we’ve taught our children,” she says.
Over the decades, that’s meant being able to adapt and test along the way. One tool helping the Bucks maintain their vision is AgriWebb’s Livestock Business Management solution.
Saving $80K with Pasture Management Insights
When Rex and Jody’s son Coby, a recent hire at AgriWebb, introduced them to AgriWebb’s Livestock Business Management solution, the software’s value became evident pretty quickly.
While Rex and Coby were checking on cattle, the two began inputting pasture acreage and forage numbers into AgriWebb as part of their ongoing pasture management practice. When they added the stocking rate for 64 cows in a particular pasture, they were both shocked by the grazing calculations.
AgriWebb calculated that the cows could be left for 31 days and still abide by the ‘take half, leave half’ mentality. “The most I’d ever left them in there was two weeks,” Rex admits.
Rex realized he was underutilizing pastures across his ranch, leaving him enough forage to keep his cattle on-property throughout the winter instead of shipping them to corn stalks. He was astounded to discover the savings in money, time, and effort. “It saved us about $80,000 in 2020,” he explains.
Another AgriWebb feature crucial to their business is the gross margin calculator.
“Every winter, I’d spend four or five days in my office to figure out an accurate gross margin on our cow-calf operation. AgriWebb is amazing because it does all that for me.”
Rex Buck Wray Cattle Co.
“One of the reasons we need AgriWebb is to have super-accurate gross margins. It means we’re going to figure out the dynamics of this ranching operation and be more flexible in the future. AgriWebb takes the guesswork out of our operation.”
Facilitating Teamwork To Make The Dream Work
AgriWebb also ensures that Rex, Jody, and their sons, Brady, Coby, and Baylor, all know exactly what’s happening on the ranch. The importance of that became abundantly clear at the end of last year when Rex was in the hospital for the better part of a week due to Covid.
“I felt a lot better knowing everything about the ranch was in AgriWebb. It was like an estate handbook; all the ranch information – the numbers, where the cattle are, the wells, the mapping, the acres we owned – everything was on AgriWebb,” he says.
“I didn’t have to worry about how my youngest son, Baylor, would get along – if he didn’t know exactly where all the calves were, he could pull it up on the phone. It was a tremendous relief knowing that AgriWebb was going to keep things together for us.”
Jody shared that relief. “After being married over 34 years, we can kind of read each other’s minds, but if something ever happened to Rex, there’s a lot of gaps we’d have issues filling,” she says.
I feel a little more at peace now because everything’s in AgriWebb, and we all have access to it.
Jody Buck Wray Cattle Co.
AgriWebb has also been helpful to Jody in her role, looking after financials, work schedules, and supplies. “It’s so simple to pull it up. I love seeing everything on our ranch map: our numbers, our tag numbers, and the locations of everything.”
Her enthusiasm about AgriWebb is in contrast to her initial skepticism. “I figured, ‘Oh, it’s just another app. I’m not going to get my phone out. It’ll be cumbersome or confusing.’”
Now, she says, “Using AgriWebb is so much easier because, honestly, it is a few swipes of the finger on your phone. You can be in your pick-up or barn, and your record keeping is done.”
“In AgriWebb, everything’s in front of us; it’s just in our pocket, it’s accessible to the whole family. It eliminates a lot of the mysteries of our management.”
Securing the Ranch’s Future with Smarter Pasture Management
Today, Rex and Jody feel more confident than ever about the next generation taking on the farm. AgriWebb means they are more prepared for future uncertainty.
“We’re ahead of the drought game,” Rex says. “It’s not going to crush us, and it’s not going to cause a lot of the stress we’ve been through before. AgriWebb will guide us, and we know what to do.”
He says AgriWebb takes the guesswork out of which cattle to sell, and when: “We know that with this irrigated grass, we can always save three or 400 young, really efficient, high-quality genetics to build back with.”
Baylor, who helps with the day-to-day operations on the farm, points out that AgriWebb is providing insights to improve those genetics. “One of the best features in AgriWebb is the individual animal tracking. Out here, we can’t afford to let a cow graze for over a year if she doesn’t bring us a healthy calf at weaning.”
With individual tracking, we will have a more perfect cow herd because we’re getting rid of animals that aren’t performing. Overall it should make this ranch a hell of a lot easier to run.
Brady Buck Wray Cattle Co.
AgriWebb is also helping with pasture improvement, as the Bucks look to reestablish alfalfa and oats in some fields. They can track the increased forage produced per acre, see how that’s converted into sellable beef, and determine if increased profits justify further investments.
“We can look at trends and opportunities, and maybe some cost drains that we were unaware of on our operation,” Jody says. “I’m excited about our future management because AgriWebb will make it so much easier. It’s so effective in terms of big picture management.”