How pro­duc­ers get paid for qual­ity

Successful Farming - - BEEF INSIDER -

Tri­an­gle H Cat­tle near Gar­den City, Kansas, has been en­hanc­ing its cat­tle ge­net­ics for over 100 years. Re­cently, it used Top Dol­lar An­gus to ver­ify and to pro­mote the qual­ity ge­net­ics of its cat­tle.

Cap­tur­ing value went in a new di­rec­tion for the ranch in the late 1980s. “As we be­gan to mar­ket on the rail, we brought more An­gus ge­net­ics into the herd with em­pha­sis on mar­bling, rib-eye area, and growth,” ex­plains Sam Hands of Tri­an­gle H. “We also started to do our own fin­ish­ing.”

Re­tained own­er­ship and mar­ket­ing on the rail, he thinks, are the best means of cap­tur­ing cat­tle value.

“Work to be a mar­ket maker vs. a mar­ket taker,” Hands says. “Pounds pay the bills, but qual­ity makes the dif­fer­ence. De­velop a net­work with a packer as a pre­ferred sup­plier.”

Mead­ows Creek Farm near Columbia in south­east Alabama tries to cap­ture value through mar­ket­ing prac­tices and re­spond­ing to cus­tomers.

“We de­vel­oped a SAFE (South­east Alabama Feeder Cat­tle) pro­gram, and through that, we in­ter­act and meet with many feed­lot buy­ers,” says Richard Mead­ows. “We have ac­com­mo­dated many of their re­quests, es­pe­cially on health and pre­con­di­tion­ing pro­to­cols.”

Mead­ows, who has pure­bred and com­mer­cial cows, has worked with Rep­u­ta­tion Feeder Cat­tle, which was ac­quired by the Amer­i­can An­gus As­so­ci­a­tion, to doc­u­ment the value of his cat­tle. “I told them that if they could bring some new bid­ders, they’d pay for them­selves,” he says. “They’ve done that.”

Mead­ows has a small freezer beef op­er­a­tion based around his chil­dren’s 4-H steer projects. He says work­ing di­rectly with end users has been eye-open­ing in cap­tur­ing more value.

His best ad­vice to other pro­duc­ers: Net­work. “Our SAFE group started with a small core of pro­duc­ers and has ex­panded greatly. In our bull sales, we have part­ners who are both pro­duc­ers and in the live­stock mar­kets. We con­stantly net­work,” he says.

Sam Hands, Tri­an­gle H Cat­tle near Gar­den City, Kansas, uses Top Dol­lar An­gus to ver­ify and to pro­mote the qual­ity ge­net­ics of cat­tle.

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