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Kurt Kangas Ginette Gottswiller

The Source:
Putting Customers First

Making sure your calves’ performance guarantees profits and happy customers.

Supper is ready and the smell of beef and noodles drifts through the air. You’re hungry after running the combine all day, and can’t wait to eat a hot meal and take a shower. Before you can even kick off your boots, the phone rings and a voice asks, “Do you have time for a survey?” Customer satisfaction surveys seem to be a dime a dozen. AngusSource® sends you the opportunity to fill out a survey and return it for a free pair of AngusSource gloves — but we don’t want to bother you during supper!

Customer satisfaction is something you can focus on to gain more information on your calves. How many times have you called the feedlot to find out if your calves were sick, or weren’t performing well? Unfortunately, most ranchers sell their calves, load them on the truck, get the check and that is the end of the transaction. Be the exception: Pick up the phone and ask the feedlot manager the important questions. Build a relationship with him — after all, he is the next step in the chain. If you have done a good job managing your calves, chances are that feedlot knows how much effort you put forth.

feedyard information

There is a lot of information to be gained if you follow up with the feedyard to get the grow-finish-carcass performance of your calves.

You might be asking, “Why bother?” I wish I had a dollar for every time I hear, “Well ‘so and so’ used to buy my calves all the time, but he quit for some reason.” You probably should have been asking some questions. More than likely, your calves didn’t perform so they didn’t make money. No one likes to purchase a product that doesn’t work.

If you build a relationship with the feedyard, you may get coveted carcass information. One AngusSource producer, who did not retain ownership, did just that: He used RFID tags and received group and individual information. He can’t use this to help market his calves, but he can use it to improve his herd genetics. This is not the only producer who has gone the extra mile and been rewarded.

Enrolling your calves in a value-added program like AngusSource lets potential buyers know you are more than likely weaning your calves on a mineral program and following a VAC 45 vaccination schedule. That is just one reason AngusSource calves can command more dollars — the real reason is the genetic component. Buyers are looking for documented Angus genetics. Not just any black-hided calf can do what an Angus-sired calf can do.

AngusSource is a great way to get documented information in front of buyers prior to the sale. Each time you enroll, a marketing document can be created by listing when and where you plan to market your calves. Each marketing document will list each Angus sire used for the calf crop, along with his current expected progeny differences (EPDs) plus the average of those EPDs. If you want to include a list of vaccinations along with other management practices the completed document will be emailed to more than 600 potential buyers the week you sell and the week you list your calves.

The down calf market is a perfect time to think about using a value-added program like AngusSource to draw attention to the next group of Angus-sired calves you plan to market. It won’t take long to complete your enrollment, and the satisfaction you receive from providing potential buyers documented information will be returned with documented value for your Angus-sired calves.

Comment on the storyEditor's Note: Ginette Gottswiller is the director of commercial programs for the American Angus Association.

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