Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Carol Cumber


South Dakota beef cow/calf producers who had completed a 2000 Standardized Performance Analysis were surveyed and interviewed to gain a better understanding of what personal characteristics and management factors may help determine profitability. Low, medium and high profitability categories were defined by calculating one standard deviation above or below a mean ROA. Producers were unaware of their profitability category at the time of the interview. Statistically significant differences were found in reference to the involvement of the operator in physical labor and management functions, and in the percentage of other family members involved in the management functions in the enterprise. Producers' views on their opportunities and threats regarding their beef cow/calf operations were also statistically correlated. High profit producers appeared to be more conscious of keeping feed costs low through their use of training courses or materials, decision-making techniques, goal setting, and record keeping. No significant differences were found in relation to risk taking, intuition, marketing tools or management style.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Beef cattle -- South Dakota -- Cow-calf system
Beef cattle -- Economic aspects -- South Dakota




South Dakota State University

Included in

Economics Commons