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There is money being made in the beef cattle profession

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Spanish Johhny

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I have been in connected to cows for a long long, long time in one form or another, either owning them or doing business with those that own them. In all those years, the prevailing coffee shop banter has been how we are all losing our shirts. I don’t believe that. My buddy, who doesn’t own a pair of rubber boots and goes to work in a real nice 3 pc suit asked me why I thought that and my opinion was very broad and non specific. I was at a bit of a loss. Since then, I have been racking my brain when I thought, I hang out with a group of pretty smart, observant seasoned cowwomen and cowboys here on Ranchers……………I’ll ask them.

During your tenure in the cattle business, what have you seen that is making someone a good legal living with a novel idea. Not the usual “buy ‘em cheap, make ‘em gain, sell ‘em high” concept, certainly not the business model of skinning everyone in the county, but rather something innovative, one of those “now why didn’t I think of that?” business concepts. If you have a good little side gig going on and don’t want to tip your hand, that’s OK, but I’ve got myself in a fix and I feel like I owe Mr. 3 pc suit an answer.

Thanks guys!
 

leanin' H

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Direct sales has been a money maker for me. I sell beef directly to customers on the wholesale side. Business keeps growing every year. And I’ve also sold some of my heifer calves as replacements to other producers. Not a lot but enough I no longer sell any heifers at the sale barn. I either keep them, finish them as beef or have guys calling to buy the rest.
 

Faster horses

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In general ranchers/farmers are their own best customer.
Wish I could help you out but we just kept our nose to the grindstone...for 50 years.
A good ranching friend has a we;; repair and tenching business.
Again, other ranchers are his best customers.
But he can help people and that keeps him happy.
I guess I'm saying, if you can get enough in 'next year country' to keep going for another
year, that is more rewarding than making a lot of money.
 

webfoot

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I have done a lot of direct marketing over the years. Quit doing it because I got tired of dealing with the people. I have never been an exclusive cow/calf operator. One 4 year stretch I bought the best heifers I could find. I vaccinated, PI tested, pelvic measured, and AI bred them. Did everything I could think of to them to increase value and sold them. I have done a lot of one and done cows. A lot of them were old cows headed to the kill plant. I got one more calf out of them. Shipped them direct to the plant in late summer while price was still up. Took advantage of shorter time on winter feed and predictable seasonal price swings.
 

Spanish Johhny

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All good replies! Thanks guys!
Before I go, I will share one guys approach on shrink. We all understand shrink, what is normal what is excessive but some of us (me), have to methodically go through the process in our minds each time to understand it. I watched this guy for years and I am convinced he make the bulk of his net on a pen by working the shrink to his advantage. Where the load was weighed, how the load was weighed, manure left in trailer, manure removed, how long the load stood before weighing and all of this he could call to his advantage on either side of the trade. Was it illegal? No. Was it unethical? I guess it depends on where you sit on the ethics scale. His edge was that he understood the implications of shrink like a second language and worked it to his advantage.
He drives a nicer truck than me.
 

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