GeneNet Founder Talks About Getting the Most out of Grid MarketingTue, 13 Oct 2015 14:32:15 CDT
Before cattle were valued on carcass merit, before most fed cattle were sold on grids, there was a learning curve. Ken Conway, who founded the GeneNet marketing alliance in 1998, talks about the adjustments.
"One of the first things we try to do with my customers is to, when they start harvesting cattle on the grid, was to make them realize that not all the cattle are ready to go at one time," Conway said.
The “pen in, pen out” mentality had to shift to optimize cattle performance and carcass merit.
"So, therefore you will need to go in and sort some cattle, wait two or three weeks, sort another set of them off and you'll do much better on a grid that way due to the fact that you will cut down on your discounts, such as yield grade 4's and you'll increase your quality by feeding a lot of those cattle to their end point," Conway said.
Of course, no amount of feeding makes cattle marble better than their genetic potential. That’s why Conway began going back to his roots as a seedstock producer.
"My experience with the pure bred gave me the ability to seek out and find these commercial breeders that were using high quality cattle and that was kind of an easy sell to them," Conway said. "From the stand point that they were tired of it, just like I was tired of it all the way through with the Angus deal back then, you try to produce high quality cattle and they go for the same price that really the low quality cattle."
To bring positive change, he set up the GeneNet grid with the highest fixed Certified Angus Beef brand premium in the market, currently at $5 per hundredweight of carcass. That’s one reason 1,500 partners have used this marketing channel and keep coming back. GeneNet was recently recognized as the 2015 C-A-B Progressive Partner of the Year.
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