New Tricks for an Old Ranch – Adding PRF to the risk management plan

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Alex Lasater manages both the Dale Lasater Ranch near Matheson, Colorado and the Park Springs Ranch near Las Vegas, New Mexico. These ranches have been in the family more than 70 years.

Close to 1,200 head of cattle rely on the forage land at both ranches for much of their nutrition. Unlike the short prairie grass on the Dale Lasater Ranch, Park Springs is arid, canyon country more than 1,000 feet lower in elevation.

“Park Springs is a much more difficult ranch to manage and operate,” said Lasater. “It’s highly doable but a different kettle of fish altogether.”

Silveus Insurance Group (Silveus) coverage is an important component to the business’s risk management.

Prior to working with Silveus Agent Aaron Tattersall, the ranches had no Pasture, Rangeland, Forage(PRF) coverage. A recommendation from a neighbor and Tattersall’s subsequent presentation had them sold.

“The research behind PRF and the strategy made sense,” said Lasater. “Aaron came here with all the data and strategy mapped out. We have tweaked it some, based on the weather forecast, the returns and the premium we thought we could handle.”

Lasater says the PRF coverage works well because there are several chances of indemnities paying off the premium ahead of time, adding that with PRF coverage it isn’t necessary to wait until the end of the year to receive returns from losses.

“Aaron sends us updates on what triggered an indemnity, what didn’t trigger and the percentage of returns we still have remaining to trigger if Mother Nature shuts down rain,” said Lasater. “We have a good road map of where we stand throughout the year.”

Tattersall does all the preliminary work and has a suggested strategy in place before meeting each year. Frequent follow ups by phone and email and a quick response time mean Lasater doesn’t need to wait around for answers to questions and never needs to send emails twice.

“Alex’s operation is complicated but I enjoy the challenge, coming up with a strategy and then meeting with him to go over it along with keeping him updated throughout the year,” said Tattersall.

“I think Aaron spends triple the time driving out to us as meeting with us,” said Lasater. “We don’t chitchat much and that works for the way we are wired. If I miss something in a meeting I can send an email and get quick clarification. He is also good about papering things up and we’re a big fan of that.”