Stan Parsons, founder of Ranch Management Consultants, was born and raised on a large farming operation in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia.) He was profoundly influenced by his banker father who insisted that each of their many enterprises (including the country’s largest dairy and swine herds) must stand on its own economic feet. When the political climate started deteriorating in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, his father recommended that Stan and his brothers go back to university for higher degrees.
Stan’s Ph.D. is in reproductive physiology. But when his major professor insisted he take his research to the farmers in the form of seminars, he soon realized the practical economic limitations of his work. He felt the need to learn more about economics. An MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue followed. Wonderful and rigorous degree that it was, it didn’t teach Stan anything about how to make money in agriculture. To remedy that deficiency, Stan read widely on business management while he was a professor of farm management and agricultural economics at the University of Rhodesia & Nyasaland. Repeated demands by local farmers associations led to his first course on the application of business management to agriculture in 1969.
About the same time, Stan was assigned to a research project to test the economic and biological validity of the "Savory Grazing System." Inevitably that led to a close association between Stan and Allan Savory, which lasted 13 years. Together, working closely with clients in South Africa, they experimented with a ‘holistic’ approach to ranch management, combining grazing management and animal husbandry with business management.
When they started operating in the US in 1979, demand for their services outpaced their resources so they expanded the business courses Stan had started a dozen years before to include ecology, grazing management and animal husbandry. Stan and Allan parted company in 1983, when Stan established Ranch Management Consultants and began teaching Ranching for Profit Schools.