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Best genetics in the world for beef production... what to do?

 
Dave Jackson
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Hey folks, wanted your input. I have an associate with quite literally the best genetics on the planet in his black Angus herd. He's been selecting for very specific traits for over 60 years. These cattle are genomically tested at are literally in the top 1% of the most important EPDs based on the Pfizer HD 50K. This herd is not only bred to produce maximum growth and muscle on grass, but these guys thrive on fescue pastures.

So I'm wondering... These are the top of the top notch animals here. He is doing things way ahead of most of the multimillion dollar herds out there, but he's operating on a shoestring budget so to speak. Any ideas on how he could / should capitalize this proverbial gold mine?

It seems that it's nigh impossible for him to penetrate some of the larger rangers simply because he can't fly around out west to wine and dine them; much of the larger ranches simply scratch each others' backs and falsify their ages in order to show larger gains, etc. Folks accuse him of falsifying ages because he does such an amazing job of growth at the test stations and such, but he just simply has the best cattle in the business and out of any breeds. Sooo... I'd like to help him by perhaps brainstorming here. Perhaps we should put his operation up for a Kickstarter even to help him to build out the operation? Dunno, just thinking and thought you guys might have some interesting thoughts.
 
Amedean Messan
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Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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Well you started well by putting his work out. He may be a genius in his trade, but not every genius is a marketer. Classic example, Nikolai Tesla vs Thomas Edison. Any website, videos, brochures? Names? Upload some pictures, describe the operation. More directly, how is the claim of best genetics supported here? I am more than curious of the work, potentially a customer in the future.
 
David Livingston
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I am also a bit worried when people say they have the best . They may be the best in that local but does that apply to every locality ?
Take highland cattle . Very good in the Hebridies but in Florida ? Nope too much hair for starters

David
 
J D Horn
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First, as noted above, the usefulness of his genetics will still be limited to his biome.

Second, you mentioned fescue. Does that include endophyte-infected fescue? In other words, has he bred well enough to get good weight gain and breed back with endophyte-infected fescue? If so, and he can document it, that a very good selling point.

This idea came from one of Greg Judy's interns that I thought was rather brilliant. He had worked on a cow/calf, direct market grassfed beef operation in NC before joining Greg. Per his story the place was a disaster. They just did not have enough land to run their pairs, yearlings and finishers. So his idea was that someone with a large herd of good grass genetics should begin marking yearlings to the smaller outfits that want/need beef for their CSA, but do not have the land to run their own cow/calf operation. So the idea would be find the operators throughout the South who want to finish 10-45 head per year for their direct marketing program, and become their supplier with yearlings from the grassfed herd.
 
Dave Jackson
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Some good input here guys! Thanks. He's in Ohio where the cattle can stand way below zero when needed (read: plenty of hair and very hearty). He's doing embryonic work at the moment as well. Amazing stuff and he's working to get some bulls into an AI stud. When I say "Best" I'm talking this is comparative to everything in the entire Angus breed for highest desirability EPDs. These cattle do well in everything from *highly* humid 90º+ to -30º (just speaking experientially from our winters) and then of course everything in between. I just don't know what he's willing to or wanting to do. He's being exceptionally selective right now in his work to take these super cows up even higher and to elevate predictability through embryonic implantation of super cow embryos after doing the genomic testing. He's working to hit some home runs before he dies (since he's up there in age) and so his family will have a stellar operation to carry on.

It is sad for the primary reason: he's definitely no marketer. He's one of those "what you see is what you get" kind of people who speaks his mind and doesn't sugar coat things whatsoever. You probably get my drift here.

I've been trying to get him to write a book on everything he knows as he has many decades of invaluable experience, a masters degree in animal husbandry, and was a college professor for nearly 40 years.

I don't have his permission to talk about anything really here and I feel kind of uncomfortable getting into details, but if you can PM / instant message me on here I'd be happy to have a dialogue with you off-board. Would enjoy brainstorming some and perhaps hooking you up with him personally so you can have a phone chat with him.
 
Andie Shire
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From a general business perspective, marketing is key. If his product is exceptional, as previously stated, it needs to be documented. If he wants to sell his product, he needs to market. If he wants to pass on his legacy, he needs to teach the next generation, and probably write a book.

I am not familiar with assistance organizations, however, here I would recommend talking with the local conservation district or agricultural research university to assist in either studying his approach and/or developing a marketing plan. Usually if it is advantageous to the university or organization they will attempt to allocate the resources with grant funds. Another ideas it to acquire his own grant funds and hire a private research firm to do the work for him, which could be costly, and may not be cost effective. It is imperative to have a cost-benefit analysis of any endeavor. It sounds like there may be a lot of potential to increase profitability, but "what you see is what you get" only works when you're rich and already have a large following.
 
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