The room was packed with seedstock producers during the Hereford Genetic Summit, but the American Hereford Association thought it would be a good idea to bring in a few producers from outside the breed to share about their operations and what they feel is the responsibility of seedstock producers industry wide.
Galen Fink operates Fink Beef Genetics in Randolph, Kansas with his wife, Lori, and daughter, Megan. They raise Angus and Charolais cattle focused on producing high-accuracy expected progeny differences (EPDs). Their seedstock program is one of the top 25 largest, marketing about 700 bulls each year. Through an AI and embryo transfer program they use a controlled mating program and utilize sexed semen.
Galen commented that breeds should stop comparing themselves to Angus. Yes, they have done some things right in terms of marketing, “however other breeds need to do what they do best and then blend the breeds to come up with a product the consumer wants.”
Don Schiefelbein is president of Schiefelbein Farms LLC, located in Kimball, Minnesota. The farm is a partnership with his eight brothers, father and two nephews. The family affair focuses on Angus genetics where they AI about 1,000 females annually in an intensive synchronization program. They also utilize embryo transfer and market more than 350 bulls each year. What makes their program unique is their customer buy-back program that has been around since 1992.
“I would summarize our customers as wanting the whole enchilada. They want it all. It’s amazing as genetics have improved over time, how the level of demand has increased. I would say they want them to do everything. They want them to work in their fences. They want them to work in the feedyards. They want them to work for the consumer. Our challenge as seedstock producers is to make sure they do all those things well.”
Don was honest in saying that he wanted to tell Hereford breeders what they needed to hear, not what they wanted to hear. “I believe the biggest take home message today is they have got to concentrate on making sure Hereford feeder calves create value in the minds of their commercial clientele. Until that hurdle in well understood, it is going to be an uphill battle to try and get market share.”
Listent to my complete interview with Galena and Don here: Interview with Galen Fink and Don Schiefelbein
You can listen and view Galen and Don’s presentations here.
Find all photos from the event here: Hereford Genetic Summit Photo Album.