Farmers || Future

I am wondering if anyone has experienced different beef cattle marketing strategies. Has anyone had any alliances with feedlots, etc.? Or tried the source verified programs (Angus verified, etc.)? I am just wondering if there really is a premium that comes with participating in these programs. We currently take our feeder cattle to a local auction market (my family has done this for years, with no participating in programs such as Angus verified) and now that I am gaining more and more of my own cattle I would like to try or at least get more information on different strategies. Thanks!

Views: 2132

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Be very careful when or if you look at some of these feedlot programs. Some feedlots have gotten very good at marketing and producing smoke and mirrors to make it appear as though you are getting a premium. I am not saying all feedlot programs are bad but if you sit down and put a pencil to some of the programs you will not be happy at the end of the day. I certainly dont have all the answers but we have done very well in finishing our own fed cattle and selling the meat. It involves a little extra work as far as networking, communicating with people, educating people about your product and taking the time to produce a top quality product but at the end of the day we are satisfied with the bottom line vs taking them to a sale barn. Just my two cents.
Many of the guys in our area have started partners programs where as there is an auctioneer here that he specializes in cattle sales and these partner sales where they will group 3 or 4 farmers together with a guaranteed number of cattle and they will have either a feeder calf sale or a 2 year old heifer sale and depending on the exact type hes dealing with he has a vet on site the day of the sale and he's done pretty well and so have the groups that have gone with him in doing it...far more so than at the numerous other stockyard sales for the fact that they place standards on what they will sale and the buyers know that and they travel the distance for selected quality
Shane, I see on your page you raise angus cattle and I was wondering what kind of finishing program you were running and if your marketing was local or internet based or what. Just curious, looking for new ways to market our cattle.

Shane said:
Be very careful when or if you look at some of these feedlot programs. Some feedlots have gotten very good at marketing and producing smoke and mirrors to make it appear as though you are getting a premium. I am not saying all feedlot programs are bad but if you sit down and put a pencil to some of the programs you will not be happy at the end of the day. I certainly dont have all the answers but we have done very well in finishing our own fed cattle and selling the meat. It involves a little extra work as far as networking, communicating with people, educating people about your product and taking the time to produce a top quality product but at the end of the day we are satisfied with the bottom line vs taking them to a sale barn. Just my two cents.
Similarly to Shane I have been finishing a percentage of my calves and marketing the meat. Consumers seem to be pretty excited to know exactly where there beef is coming from and seem to be more happy with the flavor and tenderness of my angus genetics. Most customers come knocking at my door when their freezers are about out of beef, so this seems to be an easy enterprise to build, basing my sales on return customers, but also simply by word of mouth adding new ones.
I grew up on grass fed everything, and have to say the taste is excellent too. Biggest difference in my experience is the "white meat" as I call it, the good stuff on the edge of your rib eye. Grass fed it seems to get a yellow color as with grain fed it seems to be white. Grain fed well marbled beef will light up the grill as where grass fed well marbled meat will not....other than that not much difference in my opinion...
I've been really interested in growing grass fed beef. Just curious what genetics you're using for your grass fed cattle.

Thank you!

Jim Snyder said:
Hello Cow Girl - I think the best market these days for our beef are by wholesaling grassfed and/or finished beef to the various companies that will buy them direct. I won't mention them by name here as this is not an endorsement. The next source for me is selling feeder calves for others to fatten and 3rd method is direct marketing direct to folks concerned about where their food comes from. A 4th is selling cull cows for hamburger.
I am doing all four methods now and business is beginning to pick up steadily after our 3rd year in the cattle business. It is much cheaper for me to pasture and feed good hay than to feed grain which increases the overall profit potential. Grassfed beef tastes great also and is becoming more popular each day. I would not have believed it a couple years ago as I was taught that cattle had to be finished with corn. Corn finished beef tastes too greasy to me now. Grassfed has a much cleaner taste and evidence suggests it is much better for you as well. Genetics are important with grassfed as much of the "improved" genetics out there are geared more toward rapid gains in a feedlot situation.
I get about a 25-30% premium for my grassfed beef at about 1/3 to 1/2 less for the input costs.
Good luck to you.
Hi all. Interesting discussion. I too have started grass finishing some of my cattle for direct-marketing, (farmer's markets, restaurants, home delivery). More people want to know where their meat comes from.
We still have extra cattle we sell for breeding stock or steers to another farmer to finish. If you would like to see the details of selling feeder cattle privately, I have it all on this post at my blog. Hope this helps. http://curiousfarmer.wordpress.com/category/curious-marketing/
hello curiousfarmer, I read your blog and it had alot of useful information on your process of private selling. I had a question on how you are determining your price. It seems that you are still going off the average sale price from your area, so my question is why do you find it advantageous to sell privately because it doesn't look like you are getting any premium on price as I feel that private sales should get. Hope to hear a reply as I am looking towards doing more private sales myself and am looking for all the help I can get.

Curiousfarmer said:
Hi all. Interesting discussion. I too have started grass finishing some of my cattle for direct-marketing, (farmer's markets, restaurants, home delivery). More people want to know where their meat comes from.
We still have extra cattle we sell for breeding stock or steers to another farmer to finish. If you would like to see the details of selling feeder cattle privately, I have it all on this post at my blog. Hope this helps. http://curiousfarmer.wordpress.com/category/curious-marketing/
Hi Crossheart Ranch, I would say the biggest advantage we feel is not to have the anxiety of not knowing what you are going to get. It's also advantageous to not put the cattle through the stress of a sale.
We do feel we are getting a premium because we figure an auction costs us $5/cwt., so we split the difference with our buyer to keep that relationship strong.
If you can find a niche market that needs your type of cattle then the premium could be larger.
Hope this helps.
What do you figure the average asking price is for grass fed beef. I have a Hereford/Angus steer that i want to grass feed this summer. He will should be ready for slaughter by fall and i want to sell it localy. The steers I have raised in the past were all grain fed and sold at the county fair through 4-H so this is all new to me.
Do you have to go through any certifications to market cattle "grass fed". I know you have to have certification to market organic beef, as well as certified natural, wasn't sure about grass fed.

Jim Snyder said:
aaron dennis said:
What do you figure the average asking price is for grass fed beef. I have a Hereford/Angus steer that i want to grass feed this summer. He will should be ready for slaughter by fall and i want to sell it localy. The steers I have raised in the past were all grain fed and sold at the county fair through 4-H so this is all new to me.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pricing grassfed beef is dependant on the local demographics. I read in this months Stockman Grass Farmer of a fellow outside of New York City getting $16/pound. I sell mine for $2.70/pound hanging weight. You can look at my website for more info on hanging weight. www.buggyridge.com
As for whole animals, cattle right now at the stockyard are going for $0.70 to $0.85 average price per pound in this area. Part of that price is due to seasonal fluctuations and the high price of hay right now. I sell my whole live grassfed beef (feeders or mature cattle) for $1.10 which would equate to about $2.50/pound hanging weight.
If you live near a college or an area with a good economy with many high paying jobs, you will do much better on profit than if you live in a more rural area where many folks raise their own beef. Do some research of the Internet for pricing in your area. Local Harvest is a good place to search by zip code.
One thing that hurts me here is the abundance of cheap Holstein bull calves that many feed out for beef. They can be purchased for under $50/each now and are very plentyful. Holstein is good meat also but not as good as our Angus/Hereford Galloway crosses. I get many more pounds of prime cuts. Young Holsteins can be a challenge to keep healthy. It is always best to keep a calf on their mother as long as possible for the direct market. Milk replacer is not cheap and the low cost of Holstein bull calves can quickly be eaten up by milk replacer.
I am considering going to Internet marketing but need to have several options open. I prefer to raise feeders for others to fatten as there is more profit in feeding smaller cattle and let somebody else finish them.
Hi Shane:

I was reading your blog, we are thinking of starting to raise belties. I love their look and meat. When speaking with a few people they have said that they are hard to raise which conflicts with your website indicating that they do very well in our cold weather we live in Northern Indiana.

What was your decision factor when deciding to raise belties? We raise champion quarter horses so this is a new area for me. My husband however raised several Indiana state champion heifers and steers, but his idea of raising cattle is meat production levels, where my is in quality and confirmation for the show pen.

Any opinons would be great. Thanks, Jan

RSS

Members

More to do & places to go

 

  • Keep up with your friends in the network on the go with Farmers for the Future Mobile!

Badge

Loading…

© 2014   Created by Jeff Caldwell.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service