How producers get paid for quality
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.