Commercial Angus Producers Adds and Captures Value in His Herd Through Strategic MarketingTue, 07 Mar 2017 15:13:36 CST
Angus breeder Dave Nichols follows a simple model: to stay in business, he must keep his customers in business, too.
“I realized early in the late '80s and early '90s, that the farmers and ranchers in our area had other options rather than raising cattle that either grow the crops like wheat and corn and so on and that they didn't have to raise cattle,” Nichols said. “And so there was really, the marketing system at that time was just take them to the auction, shrug your shoulders and see what they brought. So we felt that it was essential to identify those cattle that were out of Nichols Genetics that had genetic inputs for growth, carcass weight and most of all, eating quality.”
What started as a large-scale special feeder calf auction has turned into more of a listing service, but the goal is the same: to identify cattle that have more value to feeders, and help them earn premiums accordingly.
“Before you try to do this, it's imperative that you're selling bulls,” he said. “You're selling bulls, you’re selling bulls that will work in the system. Many people have felt like that because they're customers. Sell their calves that are weaning, carcass quality and feed lot gain and the feed lot. And so those things aren't important because you're just passing the cattle onto someone else. Well that's, that's really bad thinking because any calf, beef calf that's sold, someone feeds it, someone slaughters it, someone sells it and someone eats it. So we're firm believers in that we need to make the pie bigger not cut it into smaller pieces.”
The Angus breeder uses tools like genomics, ultrasound and carcass data to be sure he’s hitting the mark. Then Nichols encourages his bull-buyers to add value to their genetics investment by using solid health and weaning programs.
“Well, we found out early on, because we feed cattle ourselves and we buy cattle ... And the biggest thing that can affect profit the most the quickest is if cattle gets sick. You not only have death loss but you have cattle that'll get so sick they don't gain well. And cattle that are really sick don't marble well and have good tasty beef,” Nichols concluded. “So we help them but we insist on that they have good vaccination programs.”
Having cattle that live up to expectations at every level keeps buyers coming back at every segment.
Watch a video featuring Dave Nichols, of Nichols Farms at Bridgewater, Iowa, talk about ways commercial producers can add value to their herd and then capture that through marketing, by clicking or tapping the PLAYBOX below.
Source - Certified Angus Beef
WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI
Top Agricultural News