Beginning in May of 1998, the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF) entered into a formal Alliance with Laura's Lean Beef Co. of Lexington, Kentucky. Laura's Lean Beef (LLB) is a rapidly growing firm involved solely in the production and marketing of lean, all-natural, highly palatable, safe beef products to consumers, through relationships with family owned and operated cattle operations. Their alliance with NALF is exclusive with respect to natural, antibiotic-free, non-implanted cattle and beef products. The LLB Alliance provides a foundation to simultaneously achieve the long-term goals of each organization, namely a profitable, sustainable beef industry in which Limousin genetics command a premium relative to the commodity beef market.
LLB products are currently available in 3,000 retail grocery stores in 30 states. LLB has guaranteed forward pricing contracts available to cow-calf, backgrounder, and feedlot operators. LLB prefers high percentage (3/4 blood or greater) Limousin-cross cattle. Lucrative price premiums, primarily based on yield grade, are available to cattle producers whose cattle meet LLB's lean and natural requirements. LLB offers a hot weight carcass contract base price, with substantial premiums compared to the commodity beef market.
The LLB Finisher Bonus Plan is outlined in Table A. (see at bottom of page)
Bonus premium payments and/or (discounts) are based on hot carcass weight, and will apply to the hot weight contract price on an individual carcass basis. For example, a fed-steer, Yield Grade 1.4, Select Quality Grade and 675lb. hot carcass weight would be valued at a $15.00/cwt. x 6.75 premium, or $101.25 bonus payment.
Bonus payments apply only to those cattle grading Choice, Select or Laura's Select*.
(Laura's Select* is any Standard grade cattle with a ribeye measurement greater than the USDA schedule based on hot carcass weight.)
Bonus and/or (discount) dollars are per cwt., and payments are adjusted accordingly from contract hot weight carcass price.
Standard quality carcasses receive a $12.00/cwt. discount unless they qualify for Laura's Select*.
As can be determined from the LLB Bonus Plan-Finisher Grid, LLB prefers Select and Laura's Select* quality grade carcasses. Quality grades other than Choice, Select or Laura's Select* receive a $35.00/cwt. discount.
Desired carcass weights range from 575 lbs. to 800 lbs. for steers and from 550 lbs. to 775 lbs. for heifers. A discount schedule applies for individual hot carcass weights, which fall outside these preferred weight ranges.
Laura's Lean Beef also has a bonus plan for the cow-calf producer. LLB requirements for the Cow-Calf Bonus Plan include load lots of same sex, vaccinated, preconditioned, weaned calves. Also the calves must be nonimplanted, antibiotic-free and must not have received ionophores. The final stipulation is that calves must have LLB ear tags, pre-weaning. The Cow-Calf Bonus is set at a standard 35 percent of the Finisher's Bonus. Should a set of cattle produce a negative bonus, no refund to LLB is required.
LLB also offers an option to cow/calf producers to price cattle, via a forward contract, or on delivery date, at a premium to the commodity market. LLB will pay up to $5.00/cwt. over the top cash price of comparable weight ranges for the surrounding market area. The final premium amount is determined by the quality, uniformity, location and management of the cattle. Retained ownership producers are eligible for both the Cow/Calf and Finisher Bonus Plans. Cow/calf producers and finishers who elect to forward contract, remain eligible for any bonus available over the contracted price. LLB also offers procurement programs available for cull slaughter cows and bulls, offering a premium price schedule.
Laura's Lean Beef Alliance creates an opportunity for producers utilizing Limousin genetics to be rewarded for premium genetics. The LLB Alliance can provide carcass information and cattle-feeding performance close-out data from Limousin influenced cattle harvested through the program. The LLB Alliance enhances opportunities for promotion of the Limousin breed, will serve to further define current Limousin genetics and will provide future genetic emphasis for the breed relative to selection.
Laura's Lean Beef is committed to improving the economics of family farms and ranches by providing a price premium above the commodity market for quality cattle and quality management. LLB cattle representatives will freely discuss methods to improve the profitability of your cattle operation with those interested.
Don Knore: 606/299-6625 Ext. 310, Vice President of Cattle Procurement. Regional coverage for OH, IN, MI, VA, WV
Regional Directors of Cattle Procurement:
Bayne Brown: 864/836-2293; NC, SC, GA, AL, MS, FL.
Tina Murphy: 606/299-6625, Ext. 314; KY, TN
Jay Davis: 817/866-2641; TX, NM, LA.
Charlie Peters: 319/672-9642; IA, MO, KS, IL, WI.
Jeff Russo: 605/428-4182; NE, SD, ND, MT, WY, CO.
Corporate Cattle Department: 606/299-6625 Ext. 229.
Laura's Lean Beef., 2285 Executive Drive, Ste. 200, Lexington, KY 40505; 606/299-6625; Fax: 606/299-3146; homepage:www.laurasleanbeef.com