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Offline aj

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Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« on: February 17, 2019, 08:13:51 AM »
I thought that maybe this needed its own thread. I wondered if there needed to be more discussion on this. Does the breed differentiate itself with tenderness of carcass? Is there a business model for it. If the breed is mostly comprised of small herds.....what would happen if each herd sold a locker beef every year?
People can't believe we have such a big moon for such a small town.

Offline aj

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Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2019, 08:16:24 AM »
Would the Milking Shorthorn gene pool have something to offer as far as marbling or tenderness? Maybe the old Hubs herd bull semen would be a place to start tenderness tests. They say that the Holstein cattle are good eating.
People can't believe we have such a big moon for such a small town.

Offline Real Shorthorns

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Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2019, 09:28:24 AM »
Talk about coincidence.  I had an 82# bull calf born at 3 AM today sired by HHKA Buttercups Prince 20th who is the sire of many of the famous Hub's bulls including Director.  Dam is a first calf heifer of my own breeding and is homozygous polled. Therefore, the calf is polled and actually looks like Director..  I have semen on many of the Hub's bulls as they will be incorporated into our breeding program long term.  I have also done significant genetic testing on several Hub's bulls that has produced interesting results.  Suffice it to say I think they are useful.  It will be interesting to compare this calf to the calves I have coming in the next 10 days out of Kinnaber Leader 9th, Kenmar Leader 13B, and Kenmar President's 26A.

Offline knabe

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Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2019, 11:37:17 AM »

professional taste testing research labs can be tried. Omaha steaks use holstein. been known for years.

you are gonna need to justify to customers to pay more to make up for the increased costs of lack of economies of scale as others successfully do now.

it would help, as you mention, that there is some quantifiable, palate noticeable difference.

even if there is not, a story helps as well.

the vast majority of people do not purchase story food on a sustained basis. some do, obviously, but most of them are not meat eaters.

tough road to hoe, but doable, hence why the scenario of wagyu, pied, something else that grows in spite of the wagyu percentage that fits normal production models of slaughter age and box size.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 11:38:34 AM by knabe »

Offline Doc

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Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2019, 04:33:18 PM »
You know AJ, I've often wondered why the Shorthorn Assoc. hasn't done something like a 1 page tri-folder helping small breeders promote the qualities of Shorthorn beef when they sell home grown beef? We sell about 12 to 14 head a year for freezer beef.
The money spent on something like this instead of sending an entourage to the World Congress when they do(that I don't see how that benefits the breeders here in the US), would be money better spent. JMO.
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Offline r.n.reed

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Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2019, 07:42:59 PM »
 Sounds like the Durham Gold program that Ron Bolze had implemented,Doc
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Offline E6 Durhams

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Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2019, 07:38:38 AM »
Sounds like the Durham Gold program that Ron Bolze had implemented,Doc

Here are some pure shorthorn ribeyes. Excellent steaks eating wise. Interestingly enough they are out of a steer that was sired by a son of Wolf Ridge Red Commander bred by Mr Reed.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 07:39:12 AM by E6 Durhams »
Progress is not about using progeny differences to change cattle, it is about sustaining the good ones absent self-inflicted problems.

Offline aj

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Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2019, 08:06:07 AM »
I assume that a lot of people don't have a "chest deep freezer" at home. That makes it unlikely that people would choose to buy a half of beef or whatever.
People can't believe we have such a big moon for such a small town.

Offline justintime

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Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2019, 08:54:08 AM »
I agree with much of what has been said here, but I do not think it is entirely the job of a breed association to do this. It would be a big help if the breed association did provide the information to assist the actual producers to do the foot work. Printed material is only a part of the solution to this. Getting some local abbatoirs and even better, a local restaurant or restaurant chain to use your Shorthorn beef is where it has to start. This is not an easy job, but if you are serious about developing this market, you have to be willing to spend a lot of time getting it started. You have to have a constant supply of high quality beef that is from an inspected approved plant, or you will never be able to develop such a market.
My experience in this area, is limited, however, I was successful to a small level to get into some niche markets like this, when we were operating our feedlot. I started by talking with local abbatoirs who sold meats from their stores. I got two of them to try some Shorthorns and within a few months, both of these firms wanted me to supply all of their beef. One of these, wanted 5-7 Shorthorn animals to slaughter each week. The other wanted 3 per week. It became a real chore to find enough Shorthorns to keep them supplied, as I was not producing enough myself. By the time, we decided to quite feeding cattle, we were supplying 5 abbatoirs with all the beef they needed, but I could not find enough Shorthorns to supply them all. The two original markets actually advertised their beef as being from Shorthorns and advertised it as being the best marbled and tender beef available. We ended our feeding operation for several reasons. The main ones were that we had a constant problem finding good employees, my dad wanted to slow down as he was already into his 70s, and a few years of drought also became factors in the decision. My first love was producing breeding cattle, so we downsized our operation, dad retired to town but still came out to the farm most days until he was almost 90.
Experience is what you get when you don't have it when you need it.

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Offline E6 Durhams

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Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2019, 09:00:39 AM »
I assume that a lot of people don't have a "chest deep freezer" at home. That makes it unlikely that people would choose to buy a half of beef or whatever.

In my experience once the customer sees the value of buying in bulk and buying locally, they will purchase a bigger freezer if they dont own one already. Ive got five freezers here at the farm and I didnt pay more than 150 bucks for any of them. You can find cheap ones on Craigslist all day every day. The typical family of four usually buys a 1/4 or a 1/2 of beef. Very rarely have we ever sold a whole beef to one person. I have one family of five that buys a whole steer and two hogs every year. They entertain company a lot and it still takes them a year to get through the steer.

Another issue selling local is educating folks on all the cuts. How to cook different cuts. The general public is basically ignorant to it all. You have to go over cut lists with them and walk them through it. I then call the butcher myself to put the cutting instructions in. Saves a lot of confusion. There is also a huge snag in the local system getting animals to butcher when they are ready and consistently having appointments. We have to call 6 months out sometimes to get appointments. So youre basically guessing when the animal will be ready. Very few butchers in Ohio that pay a ODA inspector to stamp meat for resale. Big ag has made it pretty difficult for the little guy. Not impossible but it can be a pain in the ass for sure.
Progress is not about using progeny differences to change cattle, it is about sustaining the good ones absent self-inflicted problems.

Offline E6 Durhams

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Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2019, 09:15:49 AM »
I agree with much of what has been said here, but I do not think it is entirely the job of a breed association to do this. It would be a big help if the breed association did provide the information to assist the actual producers to do the foot work. Printed material is only a part of the solution to this. Getting some local abbatoirs and even better, a local restaurant or restaurant chain to use your Shorthorn beef is where it has to start. This is not an easy job, but if you are serious about developing this market, you have to be willing to spend a lot of time getting it started. You have to have a constant supply of high quality beef that is from an inspected approved plant, or you will never be able to develop such a market.
My experience in this area, is limited, however, I was successful to a small level to get into some niche markets like this, when we were operating our feedlot. I started by talking with local abbatoirs who sold meats from their stores. I got two of them to try some Shorthorns and within a few months, both of these firms wanted me to supply all of their beef. One of these, wanted 5-7 Shorthorn animals to slaughter each week. The other wanted 3 per week. It became a real chore to find enough Shorthorns to keep them supplied, as I was not producing enough myself. By the time, we decided to quite feeding cattle, we were supplying 5 abbatoirs with all the beef they needed, but I could not find enough Shorthorns to supply them all. The two original markets actually advertised their beef as being from Shorthorns and advertised it as being the best marbled and tender beef available. We ended our feeding operation for several reasons. The main ones were that we had a constant problem finding good employees, my dad wanted to slow down as he was already into his 70s, and a few years of drought also became factors in the decision. My first love was producing breeding cattle, so we downsized our operation, dad retired to town but still came out to the farm most days until he was almost 90.

Hold on. You were selling 8-11 steers a week and decided to quit? Say what? Id have found the shorthorns or shorthorn cross cattle and continued down that path. God only knows where that would have lead down the road. While delivering a bull to Brian Banzet in Kansas I drove past a restaurant called The Shorthorn Restaurant. Its in Chetopa, Kansas. I was so floored I had to top and take a picture. I thought that was a great name. The place itself was just a little hole in the wall in a town that didnt have much going on anywhere.

Food trucks are another great avenue for producers to sell to. The menus change, the owners are flexible with different products and they sell at pretty high volumes. Id love to have my own food truck someday. Or a restaurant type deal at the farm. Ive talked with a few chefs who would do a farm to table meal right at the farm. Once a week or once a month. You can charge up to 125 a person here in central Ohio. Local food is very trendy in th Columbus area and people will travel to rural areas to have a new eating experience. I supplied the pork for one dinner last summer and it connected me with a chef from a Cameron Mitchell restaurant.

It may take several producers using similar genetics and finishing cattle the same to group together to supply a restaurant or farmers market.
Progress is not about using progeny differences to change cattle, it is about sustaining the good ones absent self-inflicted problems.

Offline justintime

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Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2019, 09:45:21 AM »
I agree with much of what has been said here, but I do not think it is entirely the job of a breed association to do this. It would be a big help if the breed association did provide the information to assist the actual producers to do the foot work. Printed material is only a part of the solution to this. Getting some local abbatoirs and even better, a local restaurant or restaurant chain to use your Shorthorn beef is where it has to start. This is not an easy job, but if you are serious about developing this market, you have to be willing to spend a lot of time getting it started. You have to have a constant supply of high quality beef that is from an inspected approved plant, or you will never be able to develop such a market.
My experience in this area, is limited, however, I was successful to a small level to get into some niche markets like this, when we were operating our feedlot. I started by talking with local abbatoirs who sold meats from their stores. I got two of them to try some Shorthorns and within a few months, both of these firms wanted me to supply all of their beef. One of these, wanted 5-7 Shorthorn animals to slaughter each week. The other wanted 3 per week. It became a real chore to find enough Shorthorns to keep them supplied, as I was not producing enough myself. By the time, we decided to quite feeding cattle, we were supplying 5 abbatoirs with all the beef they needed, but I could not find enough Shorthorns to supply them all. The two original markets actually advertised their beef as being from Shorthorns and advertised it as being the best marbled and tender beef available. We ended our feeding operation for several reasons. The main ones were that we had a constant problem finding good employees, my dad wanted to slow down as he was already into his 70s, and a few years of drought also became factors in the decision. My first love was producing breeding cattle, so we downsized our operation, dad retired to town but still came out to the farm most days until he was almost 90.

Hold on. You were selling 8-11 steers a week and decided to quit? Say what? Id have found the shorthorns or shorthorn cross cattle and continued down that path. God only knows where that would have lead down the road. While delivering a bull to Brian Banzet in Kansas I drove past a restaurant called The Shorthorn Restaurant. Its in Chetopa, Kansas. I was so floored I had to top and take a picture. I thought that was a great name. The place itself was just a little hole in the wall in a town that didnt have much going on anywhere.

Food trucks are another great avenue for producers to sell to. The menus change, the owners are flexible with different products and they sell at pretty high volumes. Id love to have my own food truck someday. Or a restaurant type deal at the farm. Ive talked with a few chefs who would do a farm to table meal right at the farm. Once a week or once a month. You can charge up to 125 a person here in central Ohio. Local food is very trendy in th Columbus area and people will travel to rural areas to have a new eating experience. I supplied the pork for one dinner last summer and it connected me with a chef from a Cameron Mitchell restaurant.

It may take several producers using similar genetics and finishing cattle the same to group together to supply a restaurant or farmers market.

Like I said, it was a very hard decision to make. We were running a 1200 head feedlot, had over 200 cows at the time as well, and we were constantly looking for workers to help. We could not compete with the wages offered in the near by oil patch, so we were always dealing with those who couldn't keep a job someplace else. The last two guys I had work here, were both arrested, one of armed robbery and kidnapping, the other for selling drugs on the side. My dad got to the place where he wanted to slow down and after looking at everything, we knew that something had to change. The feedlot was the most intensive work load, and the source of Shorthorns around here at the time was not huge. At the same time, we were going through some major droughts and feed was constantly in short supply. I wish we could have done things differently but those were the decisions we had to make.  Sometimes the decisions we have to make are not the ones you want to make. And it was all I could do to supply 7-8 head of Shorthorns each and every week. Looking back, it would have been better if we had went together with other Shorthorn breeders and kept this market going. Two years after we decided to quit supplying this abattoir, it burnt down and the owner did not rebuild so this market may have been gone anyways It was successful while it lasted.
Experience is what you get when you don't have it when you need it.

Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and bad breath!
Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity
If love is blind... why is lingerie so popular?
The only thing worse than an idiot ... is an educated idiot!

Offline Beltie

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Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2019, 10:01:16 AM »
I sold two pb Shorthorn heifers this winter and each beef was exceptional.     They were of 'Native" origin with no milker or club calf blood.   They both fed and grew well.

I did not promote or sell them as Shorthorn beef or there may have been less demand due to consumer ignorance and bias.

I would think there would be demand if promoted as such with lots of $ spent on advertisement and education. 

Good luck in your work.

Online Medium Rare

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Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2019, 10:08:04 AM »
Have generally sold 10-15 a year here, but the locker I was using sold and is now not what it once was so I don't know how long I'll stick with it. It seems to be an issue everywhere as they slowly close down leaving producers no where to go. Booking a kill date 6 months out makes hitting the mark and closing a sale very difficult. Apparently, you can keep an older locker open much easier than you can build a new one and no one is building new. They all have a constant employee roll over as well.

When I tried to expand into a suburb a few years ago, I found very few people actually knew how to prepare meals. If you feed one right and age it properly they loved the beef, IF they can figure out how to prepare it. 40 year old men who can't run a grill, it was eye opening and I finally just decided it wasn't worth the hassle considering the distance. If you'd put together a packet on how to prepare the various cuts and educate them on cooking temps, I think it would help. You'd think the thousands of beef check off dollars all of us are paying into the system would be tackling this problem.

Up until recently there was a shorthorn buyer marketing beef in Missouri. It faded away, mostly due to non cattle reasons I believe, but they were marketing on tenderness and seemed to move quite a few cattle.

Offline aj

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Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2019, 11:32:00 AM »
I always wondered about a "Schwan's frozen food" model. Have a truck deliver on a route.......maybe at a spot in a town at a certain time everyday at a certain day. Or set up at closing time some where and maybe handle nothing but 5 pound or 1 pound packs of hamburger. Once you had customers you could then approach them with mailed products.You would almost have to set up an around the year butchering schedule.....or maybe not.
People can't believe we have such a big moon for such a small town.

 

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