Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland Page: 34
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predominate goal is overtaken by needs for financial security, social prominence and intellectual
Social acceptance or rejection of any social process, event, or phenomena is based upon
perceived truths, all of which are subject to emotional and political manipulation. In fact, man is
better able to survive temporary ecological imbalances in developed societies because of the
existence of sophisticated institutions and technology. Therefore man's suffering is expressed in
the form of financial losses and reduced social status and self esteem instead of loss of life, as is
common in primitive societies (Conner, 1991).
At the local ranch level, production strategies commonly employ goals of profit
maximization; however, this is not always the case. Important ranch outputs are not easily
incorporated into conventional economic analyses (Maczko and Hidinger, 2008). Surveys show
that ranchers tend to value lifestyle over economic well-being (Torell et al., 2001). This
indicates that aesthetic and cultural dividends, such as family, tradition and rural way of life, are
of equal or greater value to sustainability than are economic well-being (Smith, 1972; Torell,
2001; Maczko and Hidinger, 2008).
Population and Demographics
Potential impacts of an aging farm and ranch population is not well known. The average
age of farmers and ranchers is about 55 years (versus 37 years for all Americans) and it
continues to climb, while the percentage of young (< 35 years) farm and ranch operators has
declined from 15 % to 5 % since 1982 (Allen and Harris, 2005). One possible outcome from an
inverted population pyramid is the consolidation of ranches from family operations into larger
corporate ones (Maczko and Hidinger, 2008).
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Becker, Wayne. Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland, dissertation, December 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103289/m1/45/: accessed February 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .