Do You Pursue All Avenues In Adding Value To Your Cattle?
It is a continuing challenge for registered cattle breeders to find ways to add value to their cattle and to keep the cost of adding that value within the budget.
Honesty and Integrity. By far the most important is to build trust. You can’t go far wrong if you will always treat a customer the exact same way you would like to be treated in the same situation. Have you ever known anyone that felt like they got a raw deal and went back to the same breeder for seconds? Breeders pay more from those they know operate their business with integrity. Your reputation is the most valuable asset you have in the registered cattle business; it is way above the performance of your cattle. Repeat business can only be built through honesty and integrity and quite frankly if our sales do not satisfy and help the customer, then we don’t deserve any repeat business.
Register your cattle. Keep your cattle registrations current and be ready for a sale at all times. That’s why your breed associations exist. They’re built on the premise that registered cattle simply are worth more. That premise has held true for centuries. Keeping accurate and current records on all your cattle becomes a needed part in keeping current registrations.
Research, accumulate and evaluate current economic information. The beef industry stands at the threshold of fundamental change in the way it analyzes the performance of the cattle it produces. Soon, registered cattle producers will have at their disposal economic analysis tools that take livestock evaluation to another level, above and beyond EPDs. Computer models, and marker and gene assisted selection will become a reality for making selection and culling decisions. Producers must first have an understanding of and be using current technologies.
Take an active role in ensuring the profitability of your customers. Successful registered cattle producers today are just as concerned about the profitability of their customers as they are with their own operations. Those registered cattle producers who work with their customers to evaluate and compile added value information will have a leg up on their competition. In the long run if they are able to base culling and selection decisions on this data, they will improve the quality of their animals and the profitability for themselves and their customers.
Commercial producers don’t just buy bulls; they buy honesty and integrity. Look at the most successful registered cattle producers in the country, and you’ll find they all have this one thing in common. They have a clear understanding of their mission, backed up by honesty and integrity in a well disciplined production program. The core values and knowledgebase of the producer are relayed to customers and potential customers in a professional and confident fashion.
Promote your cattle. Keep in mind that marketing and promotions take many forms, such as advertising, direct mail, telephone calls, customer visits, bull test stations or the show ring. What works best for you depends on your own individual situation.
Market Value and Honesty. Only you will know if you should give much value to the statement that some folks think creating a “market value” is hoping to find another sucker instead of working for repeat business and referrals from a satisfied customer. Or put another way, “There will always be a bigger fool out there somewhere; I just have to find him.” Some cattle folks may say all purebred cattle are vastly over rated and oversold; and what makes the great ones great are they are always overfed and over managed. Each is entitled to their opinion and will usually voluntarily give it to you. You are also entitled to an opinion so now you have to make up your own.
It takes a lot of time, effort and knowledge to make everything work out and you should not expect it to work every time. In relation to high priced cattle we all know there are honest cattle operations that are getting honest money for their genetics and it is not funny money. There also is nothing wrong with having a cattle operation in Texas or wherever and just selling good cattle to commercial cattle operators. That is really the heart and sole of the cattle business and that is fantastic.
Trying to explain a little more on creating a market value as some cattle persons call it. When you take the time and effort to honestly prove what genetics in your herd are superior and you have the data to back it up, then you choose to develop a plan of advertising to cattlemen and women, sharing what these genetics have done, that is one step of a marketing effort to create a market value. If the cattlemen and women like what you have done they will pay you for your effort, if not, they won’t show up.
In determining genetic value you should look at what happens in your herd when you use their genetics in your own herd on your own ranch. But that it is not the only place to look at. Ask someone you know to be honest, with reputable cattle operations who created, or are using the genetics that you are considering, ask them how they are working in their herds.
One last thought. You can have the best genetics in the world, that will do everything you say they will and if you are not well thought of or to put it more bluntly, people don’t like you, you will have a hard time selling cattle.
The purebred business is very much a people business. Treat everyone, and I mean everyone with respect. Treat them how you would like to be treated. Follow up with their progress on the purchases from you, show genuine interest in their program. Word will spread on your honesty and integrity and if the cattle work well for them that word will spread too.