Tuesday, August 8, 2017

TBCSC 2017: Creating a Bull Market

Bill Pendergrass
Beefmaster Breeders United

Over the last 20 years there has been a terminal influence.

What about the next 20 years?

  • Efficiency (not the biggest, not the smallest, who gets it done with the least inputs)
  • Feedyard
  • Brood Cow (Does she get breed every year? Does she get bred in the first 30 days? How are her daughters?)
  • Sustainability
  • Maternal Traits
  • Crossbreeding
Pendergrass said, "If they are a smart commerical cattlemen, they are crossbreeding. Period."

How do you get your share of the bull market?
  • Identify your market
  • Know your customer
  • Produce a quality product
  • Advertise effectively
  • Stay current with technology
  • Younger set of decision makers on the way

You have to have a sharp knife. You have to castrate those calves who don't have the quality to be bulls.

"You may not like it, but EPDs are the language of the industry." Pendergrass says.

We have a new generation of decision makers. Who are these new bull buyers?
  • Top tier: successful early retirees
  • Business, marketing savvy
  • They don't know cows but know numbers
  • Family progression
  • More educated on performance data
  • Think outside of the box
  • More technology driven
Current generation is consistently questioning numbers. "I don't believe that number, I don't believe that number." Next generation is much more accepting of numbers.

Your ability to market bulls will determine if you stay in the business. If you can sell bulls, it will go a long ways towards your female sales.

Have to take advantage of reproductive technology. Need to AI. Seedstock producers have to stay ahead of the commercial producers. 

Seedstock producers are held to a higher standard.
  • Herd health, vaccination protocols
  • Deates were worked
  • Breeding Soundness Exams, stay current!
  • Trichinosis Testing Requirements
  • Interstate Health Papers
Are your bulls ready to ship?


No one likes to buy an ugly bull. Have to be eye appealing, sound and functional. 

3 kinds of bulls:
  • Fancy bulls with bad numbers ... there's a buyer
  • Ugly bulls with great numbers ... there's a buyer
  • Fancy bullw with great numbers, bring all the money!
Accurate data is essential. Whole herd reporting, register your calves, submit data to your association, weight/scan records, genotyped (GE-EPDs), and selection indicies. Decision support software is what is coming next.

Have a handout when your bull customer shows up. 

Know your customer
  • Herd calls
  • Production environment 
  • Annual rainfall
  • Forage base
  • Supplemental feeding strategy
  • Marketing program
  • Weaknesses?
You need to sell them cattle that match their production.

Identify and contact key influencers
  • Veterinarians
  • Sale Barns
  • Order Buyers
  • Video/Internet Sales Reps
  • Extension personnel
  • Build a network
AI is the single cheapest way to stay current in the beef industry. Genomics now has purebred and commercial applications.
Be the data interpreter for your customers. Teach them how to read the numbers.

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