While the fall months are my favorite weather months of the year, my life is so busy that I often find myself one step short of frazzled. I often need to remind myself to take one day at a time while putting one foot in front of the other.
We move large numbers of cattle off of grass pastures and into the feed yard in September, October and November as the temperatures cool and the growing season in Nebraska comes to an end. Cattle are typically transported via a semi-truck where you can move 40-100 animals at a time depending on both the size of the trailer and the animals being transported.
In addition to bringing our own cattle from our grass pasture to the feed yard, we also receive thousands of other animals from neighboring ranches. These are animals that will not become part of a breeding herd, but rather cattle that are raised with the direct purpose of making beef. I work as my own cattle buyer, and negotiate all of the logistics for cattle movement into the feed yard myself.
I became my own cattle buyer more than 10 years ago because I believe that vertical collaboration along the beef cycle leads to improved cattle welfare and beef quality. I trace almost all of the cattle that are in the feed yard from birth all the way to harvest in collaboration with the ranches where our animals are born. I love having the ability to influence welfare and beef quality throughout the entire growing cycle of cattle; and I enjoy the challenge of measuring improvement year after year.
While adding cattle buyer to the variety of hats that I wear adds significantly to my work load, I believe that it is well worth the effort. Not only do I enjoy working with my rancher partners, but I am also able to see the incredible improvement in cattle care and beef quality due to my efforts.
No matter how good I am, I know that I can always get better. That drives me to continue to search for greatness while at the same time putting one foot in front of the other…